Possible Road Changes in Williston | VideoChris Williams | 3/19/2013
Long waits, long lines, and heavy traffic on the bypass is why the DOT wants to put an underpass at the 18th street intersection.
"Anything that makes the traffic flow smoother in this town is a welcome sight I`m sure to anybody that lives here,” said Williston resident John Anderson.
Williston`s Public Works says the city is the only one in North Dakota that doesn`t have an over or underpass on a federal highway that runs through town. The DOT is still in the early stages of the project, but has two locations picked out for an underpass.
"One is to connect 18th on the east side, with 18th on the west side of the bypass. The other option is to connect 18th Street on the east side, with Bison Street on the west side,” said NDDOT District Engineer Walt Peterson.
While most people in town agree something needs to be done about the traffic, the location of the underpass is causing some concern. Either connection would create some problems for the Farm Credit Services building.
"It would really bottleneck our access. Farmers come in with trucks and trailers hauling grain, they`ll swing in on their way through. It would really hinder our access,” said Farm Credit Services Branch Manager David Hokanson.
Peterson says there will be changes to Farm Credit Services entrances, and some residential driveways will be steep. However, he says it shouldn`t affect everyday life.
"I don`t think there is anything major that will bother anybody tremendously.”
If everything is approved, the earliest construction could start is 2014, and Anderson can hardly wait.
"The flow would be a lot easier, on everybody. As far as going under, if you could just go under it all the time it`d be right there, no stopping anymore...basically. And then the free way traffic can just keep on going down 85.”
The underpass will have a sidewalk, and a bike path.