KILLDEER (AP) - Residents of the western oil patch town of Killdeer say a planned highway bypass around the community is welcome.
The town of 750 people is fortunate that no one has been hurt by the heavy oil field truck traffic up and down its main street, said Mayor Chuck Muscha. The street is a fairly steep hill with restaurants, a post office, a bank and a drug store on the sides and a school perched at the top.
"We've had a lot of close calls," Muscha said.
Killdeer, N.D. mayor Chuck Muscha talks about the heavy traffic on Highway 22, which also serves as the town's main thoroughfare.
State Transportation Department officials plan a Tuesday evening meeting at the Killdeer Public Library to release details of a proposed bypass that would route truck traffic around the Dunn County town, connecting state Highway 200 with state Highway 22, which is the main street through Killdeer.
Bypasses are becoming a common solution for oil patch communities to divert all but local traffic. Killdeer has had to patiently wait its turn, behind Williston, Watford City, Alexander, Dickinson and New Town.
"Everything just takes time," Muscha said. "We just want it to happen."
Killdeer Pharmacy owner Jody Doe said a truck once almost hit the side of his building.
"The bypass is a good thing. It will also divert traffic around the businesses, so you have to be careful what you wish for. But with these trucks going by the school, it has to happen," he said.