Designating ND’s shortest highway
Harvey seeks recognition for roadway
HARVEY — Given a little recognition, North Dakota’s shortest highway could be a fun tourist attraction, according to Harvey residents who are backing legislation for an official designation.
N.D. Highway 91 at Harvey has been confirmed by the North Dakota Department of Transportation as the shortest stretch of state highway in the state, said Sen. Jerry Klein, R-Fessenden, sponsor of Senate Bill 2146, which would allow for special signage to acknowledge that fact.
The bill is a tourism bill in the sense the signage could entice people to stop or travel a bit out of their way to have the experience of driving the state’s shortest highway, he said.
“We have to build on what we have,” he said. “We take advantage of every opportunity we get.”
Mike Waldoch of Harvey sees an opportunity to promote the .284-mile stretch — about two-tenths of a mile — of pavement that connects U.S. Highway 52 with N.D. Highway 3. It is slightly shorter than indicated in state records, based on the calculation determined by the NDDOT when the highway recently was resurfaced, he said.
SB 2146 anticipates donated funds for the signs and the NDDOT’s installation. The bill’s fiscal note is $1,910 in the 2023-25 biennium and $480 the following biennium.
Waldoch estimated there would be a need for a total of six signs on Highway 52 and on the road itself. The road currently is identified only by the route number.
Research indicates Highway 91 apparently isn’t the shortest highway in the nation, and Waldoch doesn’t expect the highway to draw people to the state just to see it.
“I don’t think it is going to be a big attraction for people from California or Washington or Texas or Florida or New York or other states,” he said. But he added, it just might interest someone driving through the state, prompting them to say, “Let’s swing up to Harvey and drive the shortest highway in North Dakota.”
Waldoch also sees the highway becoming a focal point for the community. He recalled that some years ago, a 5-kilometer relay race started and ended on the highway, which was closed temporarily to also host relay races.
“A lot of people participated in that,” he said.
SB 2146 will be heard Friday at 10 a.m. before the House Transportation Committee in the State Capitol in Bismarck.