New route chosen for Killdeer bypass

The location for the new Killdeer Bypass has been selected, following the lengthy examination of 57 original options.

Craig Mizera, HDR representative presented the bulk of the information at the meeting to discuss the Killdeer bypass Tuesday night at the school in Killdeer

Mizera, HDR representative presented the bulk of the information at the meeting to discuss the Killdeer bypass Tuesday night at the school in KilldeerNearly 80 people turned out on Tuesday at the Killdeer High School cafeteria to hear an update from HDR Engineering about the proposed Killdeer Bypass, which was first discussed by local, county and state officials last year.

Craig Mizera, an HDR representative, presented the bulk of the information about the route, which will run along the west side of Highway 22 in Killdeer.
Mizera said that, after evaluating the city’s needs and the surrounding terrain, 57 original options were winnowed down to three, including one on the east side of the highway, but HDR opted for the route where the bypass will connect with a roundabout similar to the existing one at the intersection of Highways 22 and 200.
The bypass will intersect with Highway 22 at the north end, just south of Main Street –north of Weydahl Airport – and continue south across farmland laying approximately 3.5 miles west of the city limits. It then will connect with Highway 200 at its south end near about 106th Street.
It is estimated that at least three to five ranches will be involved in the route.
Mizera projected costs for the project to reach about $40 million and said that HDR’s research had concluded that the shorter distance, environmental impact, level of service, and regulations pertaining to wet lands were major reasons for the western “Preferred Alternative B2.”
The plans called for a two-lane blacktop, widening to three lanes at access points spaced at least 1/4 to 1/2 mile apart along the length of the bypass, with 16-foot medians and requiring a 200-foot right-of-way along its length.
HDR said it planned to apply for permits by October, with an anticipated start date of next April, with completion by the end of next year.
The construction is still contingent, however, on property owners and the state’s agreement on the price of the land to be consumed for the project.
While everyone at the meeting agreed that Killdeer’s traffic problem was egregious, there was not unanimous consensus on the cause or the solution.
Rancher Scott Bice, and his father David, claimed that the city’s sale of water – some 4,100 water trucks per year – to fracking companies greatly contributed to the local truck traffic and David added that he was concerned about “dividing” ranches to accomplish the project.
Killdeer Mayor Chuck Muscha responded, explaining that the city was looking into moving its water diversion point farther to the west to alleviate any truck traffic into Killdeer after the Bypass is completed. Though, no cost estimates had been made as of the meeting.
Rancher Dave Stroh echoed the Bices’ complaints.
“It’s a city problem that they’re throwing at us. They created the monster, we’re supposed to tame the lion,” Stroh said.
Muscha disagreed
“The Bypass has to go somewhere. I’m just happy we’re moving forward with the project,” Muscha said.
Muscha’s opinion was echoed by several other attendees who disagreed that it was merely water trucks creating the traffic congestion and that they just wanted to be able to cross the street and get their mail.
Public comments on the project close on Aug. 28. Anyone wishing to make further comment may do so by contacting Rick Stoppelmoore, HDR Engineer, at 701-577-9602 or Paul Benning of NDDOT at 701-328-2540.
The project website can be accessed at www.dot.nd.gov/projects/western-nd/truck-routes/killdeer-truck-by-pass.htm.


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