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Report finds 26% of roads in Fargo area in poor condition

Road repairs
Road repairs
Published: Apr. 6, 2021 at 4:46 PM CDT
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - A new report released Tuesday says 26 percent of roads and six percent of bridges in the Fargo area are in poor condition, and in need of immediate repair. The report was released by TRIP, a Washington, DC based national transportation research nonprofit.

According to the TRIP report, “Keeping North Dakota Moving Forward: Progress and Challenges in Providing a Modern Surface Transportation System,” the increased transportation funding provided to local governments by the state legislature’s passage of HB 1066 “Operation Prairie Dog” in 2019 has started to provide some assistance to local governments in addressing their transportation needs. But, at its current level of transportation investment, North Dakota will be challenged to maintain and improve current road and bridge conditions, safety and reliability.

The TRIP report finds that nearly half of North Dakota’s major locally and state-maintained urban roads are in poor condition, one in ten locally and state-maintained bridges (20 feet or more in length) are rated poor/structurally deficient, and 564 people lost their lives on the state’s roads from 2015-2019.

Twenty-six percent of major locally and state-maintained roads in the Fargo urban area are in poor condition and another 39 percent are in fair condition and in need of ongoing maintenance. Statewide, 44 percent of North Dakota’s major roads are in poor condition and 33 percent are in fair condition.

According to Terry Traynor, Executive Director of the North Dakota Association of Counties, this is “costing the average motorist in the region $630 annually in additional vehicle operating costs due to driving on rough roads.”

In the Fargo urban area, six percent of bridges are rated poor/structurally deficient, with significant deterioration to the bridge deck, supports or other major components. Statewide, ten percent of North Dakota’s bridges are rated poor/structurally deficient and 36 percent are rated in fair condition.

The report also finds some of North Dakota’s major urban roads are congested, causing delays and choking commuting and commerce. As travel returns to pre-pandemic levels, the average motorist will spend an additional 17 hours annually stuck in traffic due to traffic congestion in the Fargo metro area.

“The TRIP report demonstrates the need for increased and continued investment in North Dakota’s transportation system, particularly our network of rural roads and bridges, which provide a vital link for the state’s agricultural, energy extraction and tourism sectors and keep our economy moving in the right direction,” said Arik Spencer, president and CEO of the North Dakota Chamber.

You can find more information on this report on the TRIP website.

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