- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 6, 2016

MINOT, N.D. (AP) - The Ward County Commission is endorsing a campaign to organize support for widening U.S. Highway 52 to four lanes from Portal to Minot.

The commission endorsed the proposal to widen the highway Tuesday. It also wants the proposal expanded to include the stretch of two-lane highway between Minot and Velva.

The Kenmare Community Development Corp. is organizing the campaign and asking other communities along the route to lend their support. The development corporation says traffic counts on the highway have almost tripled since 2004.

The idea of widening the highway has been around for some time, the Minot Daily News reported (https://bit.ly/1IQC3Fc ). Making the route four lanes was proposed in the 2015 Legislature but didn’t go anywhere.

The state is monitoring the highway, but it hasn’t been prioritized for inclusion on the state’s list of future projects, said Chad Orn, an assistant programming engineer with the North Dakota Department of Transportation.

“We would like to have people maybe take another look at it,” said Jennifer Nelson, executive director for the Kenmare Community Development Corp. “We are sending out letters to DOT and seeing if we can get the ball rolling from there.”

The cost of widening to four lanes is estimated at $7.5 million per mile. Orn said any project that might go forward would likely span multiple years.

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Information from: Minot Daily News, https://www.minotdailynews.com


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