Highway 85 Changes | VideoAlex Hagan | 11/19/2012
"It`s pretty bad. I mean, you get traffic that`s backed up and you always get somebody that`s going to pull out and pass," says Andy Aarseth of Dickinson.
"The road`s narrow, a lot of truck traffic, people pull out in front of you," said truck driver Lester Hensley.
The North Dakota Highway Patrol has responded to 10 traffic fatalities on Highway 85 so far this year. Officers say accidents are frequently caused by drivers passing slower vehicles.
"It wasn`t really originally designed for the amount of traffic that it is currently facing right now, with the increase in oil traffic in that area. And that`s something we are definitely concerned with," said Sergeant Tom Iverson from the North Dakota Highway Patrol.
The Department of Transportation plans to widen the road from Watford City to Williston to a four lane highway. Law enforcement officers say that could help decrease fatalities.
"Hopefully, it`s something they take a look at, and if it`s a roadway that does need it, that they go ahead and make those changes," said Iverson.
The Department of Transportation says it`s more focused on building a four lane highway from Williston to Watford City but some drivers feel like they should extend it all the way down towards Belfield.
"It would be nice to see it especially from Belfield to Watford because that`s where you see a lot of the oil field traffic," said Aarseth.
The DOT has already invested more than $300 million in road construction this year.
The Department of Transportation plans to hold public meetings early next year to get feedback.