Talk of Future Four-Laning
MINOT – The construction of passing lanes on highway 52 has begun this week in order to make the road safer.
Chad Beggs, the North Dakota Department of Transportation Minot District’s assistant engineer, said the NDDOT is working on two projects for highway 52.
The first is 11 passing lanes starting six miles north of Kenmare and continuing south to where highway 2 and 52 intersect north of Burlington. That project is projected to cost $15 million.
The second project is passing lanes beginning south of Minot when highway 2 turns from a four lane to a two lane and continuing south to Balfour. That project is projected to cost almost $20 million.
Beggs said the purpose of the passing lanes is to create a safer roadway. The NDDOT asks drivers to be careful coming through the work zones.
The North Dakota State Legislature appropriated five million dollars for the NDDOT to study four-laning highway 52.
“If we can pass that environmental study, we can look at the next step,” said Beggs. “Then we’ll be going back to the legislative body saying ok, here’s the environmental study, impact study, whichever they choose, and this is how much it’s going to cost, we need to know how it’s going to be funded.”
Today;s dollars according to Beggs is about $10 million per mile, but he projects in the future it could be more with inflation.
“We’re looking at almost $50 million a mile for doing projects through the badlands,” said Beggs. “But there’s a lot of dirt work that has to be done between Minot and Velva.”
Beggs said many road projects end up being 80% federal dollars, 10% state, and 10% local political subdivision.
As far as when the four-laning project would begin if it were to be approved by the legislautr in two years, Beggs said it’s tough to say.
The passing lanes being implemented now do not necessarily aid in a future four-laning project.
“We may have to widen some additional area to create a paved median between the roadways,” said Beggs. “There’s a lot of geometrics in that area that prevent us from doing a wide four lane like we would see on highway 2. There’s a lot of material that has to be moved over to the side to build a roadway next to it.”