- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 8, 2018

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - The North Dakota Department of Transportation wants to remove a historic bridge and is seeking a public or private agency to adopt one or more segments of the structure.

The decision to take down the Long X Bridge is part of the proposed expansion of U.S. Highway 85 in the western oil patch, The Bismarck Tribune reported. The bridge would be replaced with a new one that has four lanes.

Expansion advocates said a larger highway is needed to improve safety due to increased oil traffic. However, others have raised concerns about impacts to the 7-mile (11-kilometer) stretch through the Badlands and the North Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park.

Roadway footprint through the Badlands segment would be reduced as much as possible and three wildlife crossings are proposed to minimize impacts, the agency said in documents that are available for public comment.

The department examined three options for the bridge that was built in 1959 and crosses the Little Missouri River near the entrance of the national park. Those options included keeping the bridge for an alternate use and constructing a new four-lane bridge adjacent to it. The agency also examined increasing the bridge’s clearance and building a new two-lane bridge next to it.

Public comment for the Highway 85 draft will be open until June 25.

The department is also making segments of the bridge available for adoption during an advertisement period that ends June 14, because it’s eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. The agency said that the bridge will be available “any responsible state, local or private agency willing to take ownership of, relocate and preserve the Long X Bridge in a new location.”


Information from: Bismarck Tribune, http://www.bismarcktribune.com

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