Work continues on the 55th Street Bridge, but celebration was in order this week nonetheless on the completion of the other seven miles of the Northeast Bypass.
Officials and politicans gathered Thursday to dedicate the bypass portion of the project, which is open to traffic. The bypass and bridge project, when completed, will connect the U.S. Highway 83 Bypass with U.S. Highway 2 & 52 East, allowing truck traffic to navigate from the west side of Minot all the way around to the city's east side without driving through town. The bridge also provides long-needed access over the BNSF tracks on Minot's east side.
With increasing truck traffic in and around Minot, opening the Northeast Bypass represents a major step in controlling truck traffic headed toward locations in the city's agriculture park or energy park, both on the city's east side.
The federal Department of Transportation provided $20 million for the project, while Ward County and Minot contributed $3.4 million. The state and BNSF Railway each provided $1.5 million.
The Northeast Bypass has been a testament to cooperation among local, state and federal agencies, proving that a necessary project can be accomplished in a reasonable amount of time when everyone involved works together. It will serve Minot well.