BigNews.Biz - Feb 29,2012 - Conrad Works to Secure Funding for North Dakota's Transportation Priorities
Highway Bill Would Create Thousands of Jobs in North Dakota and Across Nation
Washington – As Congress prepares to debate a federal transportation bill, Senator Kent Conrad met with North Dakota leaders to review the State's transportation priorities, including the importance of reauthorizing the national highway bill.
"The federal highway bill is critical to North Dakota. It provides the needed investment to strengthen our roads, highways and bridges, especially addressing our growing infrastructure concerns in Devils Lake and the oil patch in western North Dakota. It also fosters economic growth and creates thousands of jobs in North Dakota and across the nation," Senator Conrad said. "This bill will help the nation keep moving in the right direction."
Senator Conrad met with North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT) Deputy Director Grant Levi to discuss strategies for ensuring North Dakota receives adequate federal funding in the new highway bill.
The Senate is considering a multi-year surface transportation plan that would maintain strong funding for North Dakota. Under the Senate bill, North Dakota would receive $261 million in 2012 and $266 million in 2013 for highway projects across the state.
In addition, Senator Conrad told the NDDOT leaders that he is working to ensure the Senate bill addresses federal funding for roads acting as dams in the Devils Lake Basin. The previous highway bill capped federal funding for roads acting as dams at $70 million. The spending cap has been hit, yet many roads in the Devils Lake basin need to be raised again to keep pace with the rising lake level.
The North Dakota transportation leaders also discussed plans to seek federal funding for the Williston bypass project. The project involves the construction of an 11.5 miles bypass around the northwest part of Williston connecting US 2 and US 85. The NDDOT is requesting more than $40 million in TIGER grant funding for the $48.3 million project