Highway 85 project

WILLISTON The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha District, is taking comments on a permit application from the North Dakota Department of Transportation for a four-lane road project involving U.S. Highway 85 near Williston, from McKenzie County Road 16 to the junction of U.S. Highway 2.

The application is being evaluated under Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act and Section 404 of the Clean Water Act. Section 10 regulates the discharge of dredged or fill material in the nation’s waters.

The proposed project will require work in and affecting the Missouri River/Lake Sakakawea and the discharge of dredged and fill material into waters of the United States.

The project would include replacing the Lewis and Clark Bridge over the Missouri River near Williston. However, the U.S. Coast Guard has the permitting authority over the proposed bridge, temporary bridges, related construction activities and bridge demolition under Section 9 of the Rivers and Harbors Act.

“The replacement of the bridge is part of the four-lane project of U.S. 85 from Watford City to Williston, which will help to meet the transportation needs in the area,” said Jamie Olson, a spokeswoman for the N.D. Department of Transportation in Bismarck.

According to the Corps, the highway-widening project would consist of widening the road to accommodate a four-lane road section on U.S. Highway 85, realigning the existing road in the vicinity of the Lewis and Clark Bridge and replacing the bridge. It would include about 11.5 miles of asphalt-paved road and a half mile of bridge structure and approach segments to replace the existing Lewis and Clark Bridge, the Corps said.

The existing bridge would be replaced by a new four-lane bridge adjacent and parallel to the existing structure, according to Corps information. When the proposed bridge construction would be completed, the existing bridge would be demolished, except the southern-most existing pier located adjacent to the Williston Water Treatment Plant’s water intake structure.

A 40-foot wide by 15-foot tall wildlife crossing underpass also is proposed near the Missouri River for movement of wildlife, in particular moose, deer and other mammals. The structure would be installed about 2,200 feet south of the bridge running perpendicular to U.S. Highway 85.

Written comments about the project can be sent to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Omaha District North Dakota Regulatory Office, 1513 S. 12th St., Bismarck, N.D. 58504. Comments must be postmarked by Jan. 23. For more information contact Matthew J. Mikulecky, acting regulatory program manager, by email at Matthew.J.Mikulecky@usace.army.mil or call 255-0015.