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Forum News Service, Published January 08 2013

Williston bypass route approved

WILLISTON, N.D. – County commissioners here voted Tuesday to approve a route for a truck bypass around Williston, echoing similar action taken by city commissioners last month.

The bypass route is not the one city and county leaders preferred because it is longer and will affect more property owners. However, the North Dakota Department of Transportation learned that the preferred route would disturb Native American burial grounds and sensitive cultural resources.

Williams County Commission Chairman Dan Kalil said the commission unanimously approved a modified route that will avoid the sensitive area.

“We all know that compromises have to be made,” Kalil said.

The North Dakota Department of Transportation will continue its environmental assessment and hold a public hearing in the spring, said Jamie Olson, a department spokeswoman.

Design for the bypass is expected to be complete this summer or fall with construction beginning later this year, Olson said.