Minot's Northeast Bypass project is officially open for business.
The road portion of the project, which routes traffic around the city from Highway 83 north of Minot to 55th Street on the east side of town, was completed months ago. The 55th Street Bridge, which spans railroad tracks, was officially dedicated Monday, although traffic has been running on the bridge since last week.
The $26.2 million project couldn't have been turned into reality without cooperation from a number of entities, including the city, Ward County, the federal government, Burlington Northern Santa Fe, the state of North Dakota and the MAGIC Fund, all of which contributed financially to the project. The plan has been in at least the discussion phase for roughly 20 years, but safety and other concerns increased dramatically as Minot's population increased and the oil boom in western North Dakota brought more heavy trucks to the area.
The new bypass will help traffic avoid driving through the city, instead using the new road and bridge to get from north Minot to the east side of town in a much more timely and safe manner. It will be especially helpful for trucks, whether they be hauling oil to a nearby rail loading facility or hauling agriculture products to one of the many companies located in Minot's growing ag park.
The project stands as a testament to what can be accomplished when multiple entities work together toward a common goal.