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Associated Press, Published March 02 2012

ND oil boom affect northwest SD highway

BELLE FOURCHE, S.D. (AP) — The effects of the oil boom in western North Dakota are becoming more apparent in northwest South Dakota.

Transportation officials say traffic on U.S. Highway 85 in January increased by one-third. The Highway Patrol has increased its presence in the region, and officials tell KOTA-TV that's resulting in more speeding tickets and drunken driving arrests.

Belle Fourche Transportation Department engineer Mike Carlson says the increased truck traffic has led to more accidents in the area. He says there's no plan to further expand the highway, but it might be repaved within the next six years as part of normal maintenance.

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Information from: KOTA-TV, http://www.kotatv.com

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.