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Paving the Way: Lawmakers Approve Highway 52 Study After Advocacy from Minot

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Paving the Way: Lawmakers Approve Highway 52 Study After Advocacy from Minot

Posted: May 18 2023
Paving the Way: Lawmakers Approve Highway 52 Study After Advocacy from Minot

A much-requested change to a heavily traveled highway in the Minot area took a major step forward in the final days of the 2023 Legislative Session.

As part of House Bill 1012, which provides funding for highway infrastructure across the state, a $5 million environmental study was approved on the portion of U.S. Highway 52 between Minot and Voltaire. Such a study is a prerequisite for expanding the highway from two to four lanes.

"This is exciting news and the first step of many that are needed in order see this project come to fruition," said Paul Kramer, Chair of the MACEDC Infrastructure Committee. "This is a project that we have long advocated for and will continue to do so until it’s final completion as it is a vital transportation corridor, and more importantly, needed for a safer travel roadway.”

The development came after Minot area leadership, including local lawmakers and the Minot Area Chamber EDC, met with Governor Doug Burgum to advocate for the safety improvement on an infamously dangerous stretch of highway.

"That was one of the finer pieces of work of the Minot delegation this session," said Sen. Majority Leader David Hogue at the May meeting of the MACEDC Infrastructure Committee. "We confronted the decision makers about the need for four lanes."

"Getting this environmental study going is important. It's a big step for this area," said Rep. Dan Ruby.

"A number of people have been working on this for a long time," said Rep. Jay Fisher. "They say 'the squeaky wheel gets the grease.' So we have to keep the pressure on. I commend the Minot group for keeping this moving this forward."

In the meantime, other improvements are underway on the same stretch of Highway 52. The North Dakota Department of Transportation is adding passing lanes and turning lanes every few miles south of Minot.

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