It's road construction season

May 4, 2018

The North Dakota Department of Transportation will spend between $350 million and $400 million during the summer road construction season.

"It's pretty significant," said DOT office of operations director Wayde Swenson. "It's not like the last few years, where we were in the heyday of the oil boom. But it's still a significant amount of money being spent this summer."


This year’s road construction season in North Dakota is a little less busy that it has been during the oil boom years.

"With the one-time funding, the surge bills of previous sessions, those were record-setting times," said Association of General Contractors of North Dakota executive vice-president Russ Hanson. "With the slowdown in the economy, the Legislature simply couldn't afford to continue that."

Hanson said the budget for roads this year is around $470 million – down from the $600 to $800 million of the boom years.

Road construction season going well in ND

Aug 7, 2015

This year's road construction season is proceeding well.

"Right now, were sitting at about 20 percent of the work done," said North Dakota Department of Transportation Operations Director Wade Swenson. "Last year, we were at 19 percent, and the year before we were at 17 percent."

Swenson says a lot of the big-dollar construction happens closer to the end of the season.

"We definitely need a good late fall to get these projects completed," said Swenson. "That's where a lot of our paving and items that are high dollar happen."

Senator Heidi Heitkamp says transportation funding will be a big issue for Congress over the next several months.

Congress has passed a temporary authorization to spend money from the highway trust fund. But Heitkamp says that doesn’t solve the problem.

"My frustration is, we keep kicking the can down the road, because no one wants to face the reality that we continue to see a decline in the highway trust fund," said Heitkamp. "With declining values of gasoline, and with higher mileage vehicles, we have less and less money in the trust fund."

Two Grand Forks bridges to be repaired or replaced

Dec 27, 2013

North Dakota and Minnesota transportation officials are studying what needs to be done to two Grand Forks bridges that span the Red River.

Chad Orn is an assistant program engineer with the North Dakota Department of Transportation. He says the bridges in question are the Kennedy bridge on US Highway Two – and the Sorlie bridge downtown.

"The bridges are deteriorating," said Orn. "They (MN and ND DOT) have to determine whether they can be rehabbed or replaced, or whatever needs to be done."