US Highway 85 Press Conference

Project Description

NDDOT has many planned improvements to US 85 slated for completion in 2014, which will include approximately 33 miles of US 85 roadway this construction season. Plans for US 85 include construction of additional driving lanes and a twenty foot median, to create a four-lane highway from Watford City to Williston. These four lanes will allow more free-flowing traffic with the addition of turn lanes to the roadway.  Upon completion, four lanes of roadway will be open to motorists along US 85 between Watford City and the junction of US 2 near Williston.

The design for the new four-lane for US 85 as two lanes on either side with a paved median in between is based upon the need for frequent turns from US 85 onto other roadways. A concrete median would not support the need for traffic flow on the stretch from Watford City to Williston, so the paved median design was the safest and most effective solution.

The second phase of the project has begun on the section between County Road 16 and Williston. The necessary environmental clearance has been received for construction and this second phase includes the replacement of the existing Lewis and Clark bridge over the Missouri River near Williston. This project will continue into the 2015 construction season.

Current Project Status

  • Construction continues on the first phase of the project from Watford City to McKenzie County Road 16
  • The first phase is tentatively scheduled for completion in the fall of 2014
  • As of August 8, 2014, four lanes are open on the 14 mile stretch from Watford City to County Road 27
  • Paving has begun on the next section of US 85 from north of Alexander to Williston
  • From north of Alexander to north of Co Rd 16, speeds are 45mph with 25mph daytime speeds
  • Trucks are entering/exiting the roadway for tie in work, and motorists should use caution while flaggers direct traffic

For more information on the phases and location of the US 85 project, please review the map of the project below. Motorists can also learn more about other projects in our FAQ section of the website.

> US Hwy85 four lane project design


85 011 US 85 Project