Williston Prepares for the Unknown | VideoChris Williams | 3/13/2013
Traffic has increased dramatically in Williston along with the influx of oil field workers. Congestion at stop lights is one of the growing pains the city is addressing.
"We`re probably one of the few cities, I think, major cities in North Dakota that does not have a grade-separated crossing with a major federal highway that runs through our adjacent to city,” said Public Works Director Monte Meiers.
It`s almost impossible to make a left hand turn at the intersection of 9th Avenue and the bypass.
"It`s pretty difficult, it`s too much traffic. The lights, you need an arrow for the light,” said Williston resident Tim Gonzales.
More turning lanes are on the way, but they won`t be open until later this year or early next year. Meiers says to get through this intersection some people run the light.
"Sometimes it`s quick, other times it might be 3-4 minutes if it`s rush hour,” said Williston resident Nick Withers.
Traffic delays are an obvious sign of the oil boom, but problems with water distribution and capacity are other symptoms of rapid growth that are less noticeable. Right now, the city uses a 10 million gallon per day water treatment plant.
"We’re in the process of expanding to another four million to 14 million gallons a day. We’re doing that right now. We’re also looking at expanding it to another seven million to have 21 million gallons a day worth of capacity,” Meiers added.
Meiers says on any given day around 25,000 people use the services of the waste water treatment plant.