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Federal grant awarded for U.S. 85 improvements

WATFORD CITY – North Dakota has been awarded a $55 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation for the expansion of U.S. Highway 85, also known as the Theodore Roosevelt Expressway, in western North Dakota, according to the state’s congressional delegation.

The funding will be used to widen more than 13 miles of the roadway in McKenzie County from two lanes to four lanes, as well as to widen shoulders and reduce roadway curves from Watford City to I-94.

The congressional delegation worked to secure the funding, which was awarded under the Multimodal Project Discretionary Grant program, a highly competitive program that during this application window, awarded $1 for every $10 in applications received.

“The Theodore Roosevelt Expressway is the primary north-south roadway in western North Dakota, serving as a vital corridor to help connect our region’s energy and agricultural sectors to other parts of the country,” said Sen. John Hoeven, R-ND. “We worked to advance this critical transportation project, as the existing two-lane highway is narrow and does not meet the needs of travelers and local industry. By expanding U.S. 85 to four lanes, as well as widening shoulders and straightening the roadway, this project will help reduce traffic delays, saving time and money for the traveling public, while improving safety and supporting the region’s economic growth for years to come.”

“The expressway stretches from Canada to South Dakota and connects us to states as far south as Texas,” said Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-ND. “It is critically important to western North Dakota’s access and participation in interstate commerce. Widening the expressway will increase safety for local residents and travelers and support the efficient transportation of goods through the region.”

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