department of transportation | Prairie Public Broadcasting

department of transportation

'Click it or Ticket' campaign starts July 1 in ND

Jun 25, 2020

North Dakota law enforcement agencies will be participating in a “Click It or Ticket” event, from July 1 through August 13.

The event is to encourage people to buckle up.

"It is part of our 'HEAT' strategy, which is 'Highway Enforcement of Aggressive Traffic," said North Dakota Department of Transportation Safety Public Information Manager Lauren Bjork. "We're running the HEAT strategy throughout the summer, encouraging people to wear their seat belts, drive sober and distraction free, and follow all posted speed limits."

DOT reopens

May 14, 2020
Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

North Dakota’s Department of Transportation opened to the Public Monday.

It’s appointment-only.  And the DOT sites have been very busy.

"On Monday, we took in an extremely high volume of calls for drivers' licenses and motor vehicles," said DOT Drivers' License Division Director Brad Schaffer. "We're working through that."

Schaffer said appointments are being scheduled as quickly as possible.

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

Members of the Department of Transportation were flying drones at the state Capitol in Bismarck Wednesday.

It was a training exercise, as DOT prepares for the spring flood season.

"We started using them last year, and experimented with them," said DOT’s UAS Integration Program Administrator Russ Buchholz.

The agency has 12 drones. And Buchholz expects they will be used in central and eastern North Dakota this spring.

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

North Dakota’s Transportation Director is concerned about what he called a “funding gap” for North Dakota’s highway system.

"As we look at our data, and we look at the condition of our transportation system, and the revenue we have coming in -- in the future, there is a funding gap," said Tom Sorel. "There's a funding gap even in the system as it is today."

DOT brought together a group of Legislators, transportation companies and others to start looking at the issue.

Sorel said a number of options are now on the table.

Sorel named new NDDOT director

Jul 9, 2017

Gov. Doug Burgum has named former Minnesota Department of Transportation Commissioner Thomas Sorel as the head of North Dakota’s Department of Transportation.

He replaces Grant Levi, who retired in May.

Sorel is currently the chief operating officer of the Minnesota Trucking Association. In an interview, Sorel said he’s excited about the new job. He said he realizes there are challenges, especially in funding for road projects.

DOT could be asked to study its fee structure

Apr 12, 2017
ND Legislature

A conference committee has begun looking at the North Dakota Department of Transportation’s budget.

In the House version of the bill is a requirement that the DOT report to the Legislature's Budget Section on the fees it charges in comparison to the actual costs of those services.

"We're basically subsidizing the cost of license plates and driver's licenses, at a tune of $4.5 million," Re. Keith Kempenich told the conference committee.

People from the eight North Dakota cities that would lose their local Department of Transportation shops packed a hearing room at the state Capitol – to try and get the House to restore those cuts.

The reductions already passed the Senate – and a hearing was held before the House Appropriations Government Operations section.

Boyd McKenzie is a businessman from Courtenay – one of the cities that would lose a DOT shop. He said his concern is about snow removal.