- Associated Press - Thursday, May 8, 2014

WATFORD CITY, N.D. (AP) - Some gravel roads in North Dakota’s oil patch are closing to heavy oil traffic as a mix of rain and snow has caused soft mud to develop.

The Bismarck Tribune (https://bit.ly/1iwoBSP ) reports officials in McKenzie and Mountrail counties are restricting vehicles heavier than 12,000 pounds from traveling on gravel roads. The only exception applies to school buses.

Jerry Samuelson is the emergency manager in McKenzie County. He says the situation will be reevaluated Friday.

The newspaper reports this is the second time in two weeks that counties in the oil patch closed roads to prevent trucks from churning deep runts into the road surfaces.

Mountrail County Commissioner Greg Boschee says the decision wasn’t welcomed by the oil companies. He says the operators argue road closures cost them millions of dollars.

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