Bid placed for next step in Highway 85 expansion

Published: Feb. 20, 2023 at 1:07 PM CST
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KUMV) - The North Dakota Department of Transportation has approved a contract to begin construction work to expand Highway 85.

The department announced they have accepted a $77 million bid from Central Specialties to create a four-lane highway between Watford City and the Long X Bridge. Cal Klewin, executive director of the Theodore Roosevelt Expressway project, said it’s about a 10-mile stretch that runs through parts of the badlands.

“This region right here is a tough area in North Dakota to build roads. You can see that by the cost of it, but it’s going to be well worth it when it is done,” said Klewin.

Klewin added that construction work will start later this spring.

The Theodore Roosevelt Expressway is the northern part of the Ports to Plains Alliance, a planned four-lane corridor connecting North Dakota and Montana to Laredo, Texas. The expressway includes US-85 from Williston to the South Dakota border, US-2 from the North Dakota border to Culbertson, and Montana State Highway 16 from Culbertson to the Canadian Border.

About 47% of the 2,300-mile corridor has been upgraded to four lanes.

Klewin says the next step is to secure funding for the construction of Highway 85 from the Long X Bridge to Highway 200 near Grassy Butte, then from Highway 200 to I-94.