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Published June 03 2012

Public meetings set on proposed western North Dakota bridge

DICKINSON, N.D. — A proposed bridge in far western North Dakota that has been in the planning stages for 20 years is ready for public consumption.

The Billings County project would provide a crossing over the Little Missouri River and connect U.S. Highway 85 to state Highway 16. There are currently two bridges over the river in about an 80-mile stretch.

Billings County Commissioner Jim Arthaud says the bridge would cost about $15 million, which would be paid by the county. Construction could begin in three years.

Public workshops on the project are scheduled this week in Bismarck and Medora.

Arthaud tells the Dickinson Press that environmental studies have been expensive, but the project is sorely needed. He says motorists have been driving “100 miles around instead of going one mile across.”