Today, the North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT) together with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) announce the completion of the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS)/Record of Decision (ROD)/Nationwide Section 4(f) Programmatic Evaluation for the US Highway 85 project. The project includes replacing and constructing a four-lane Long X Bridge approximately 16 miles south of Watford City and four-laning 62 miles of US Highway 85 from the Interstate 94 (I-94) interchange to the Watford City Bypass (McKenzie County Road 30). The NDDOT, along with consulting partner KLJ Engineering, and FHWA worked as the lead agencies for 3.5 years with the National Park Service, US Forest Service, US Army Corps of Engineers, along with 17 participating stakeholder groups to complete the first phase in development of this project.
The environmental impact process included extensive public outreach, encompassing three rounds of public meetings and the consideration of numerous public and stakeholder comments. The completion of the FEIS is a significant milestone in the development of this project. The next phase is the construction of the Long X Bridge, which is scheduled to be bid in Spring of 2019. Construction on the remainder of the US 85 project has not been determined and funding has not been identified.
The FEIS has been prepared to evaluate the alternatives and potential impacts from the expansion of US Highway 85 from the Interstate 94 (I-94) interchange to the Watford City Bypass (McKenzie County Road 30). A Notice of Availability and Notice of Limitation on Claims will be published in the Federal Register.
The ROD identifies FHWA's and NDDOT's Selected Alternative which includes a combination of the following: Alternative B, with Options FF-1, INT-2, and LX-3, as well as flexible design options through the Badlands area and near Watford City; three wildlife crossings and associated features; a trail; modifications to existing bridges, culverts, and cattle passes; and other improvements.
The FEIS/ROD/Nationwide Section 4(f) Programmatic Evaluation for the US Highway 85 Project, is pursuant to the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 United States Code 4321–4347), Council on Environmental Quality Regulations (40 Code of Federal Regulations [CFR] parts 1500–1508), and FHWA Environmental Impact and Related Procedures (23 CFR 771).
The FEIS is available for public review at the following locations:
- NDDOT US 85 Project Website: http://www.dot.nd.gov/projects/williston/US85I94/
- Belfield City Hall, 208 Main Street North, Belfield, ND, (701) 575-4235
- Billings County Courthouse, Auditor’s Office, 495 4th Street, Medora, ND, (701) 623-4491
- Dickinson Area Public Library, 139 West 3rd Street, Dickinson, ND, (701) 456-7700
- McKenzie County Courthouse, 201 5th Street Northwest, Watford City, ND, (701) 444-3616
- McKenzie County Public Library, 112 2nd Avenue Northeast, Watford City, ND, (701) 444-3785
- North Dakota State Library, 604 East Boulevard Avenue, Bismarck, ND, (701) 328-4622
- NDDOT Central Office, 608 East Boulevard Avenue, Bismarck, ND, (701) 328-2500
- NDDOT Dickinson District Office, 1700 3rd Avenue West, Dickinson, ND, (701) 227-6500
- NDDOT Williston District Office, 605 Dakota Parkway West, Williston, ND, (701) 774-2700
- Watford City City Hall, 213 2nd Street Northeast, Watford City, ND, (701) 444-2533