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The Bismarck area has experienced rapid growth over the past several years as a result of the dramatic growth of energy, exploration, production and transportation in North Dakota. Other sectors have also experienced remarkable growth. As the capital city, Bismarck serves as the political epicenter of the state and central hub of regional health care services and retail trade, tourism and higher education. Growth in all of these sectors has been especially apparent in impacts to the area’s housing stock and associated infrastructure as well as the transportation network. While the city welcomes the growth and exhilarating activity this has brought to the region, this growth has posed challenges to maintaining the present quality of life for citizens.
The impact of the dramatic growth in the Bismarck area is evident in the increasing traffic levels and congestion on major roads leading into and exiting from the city. Much of the increased traffic in the city moves between Interstate 94 and US Highway 83. The fact that these two major roadways intersect in north Bismarck has created an immense bottleneck at the conjunction of these routes. This has lead local and state transportation leaders to look again at the area roadway network to discuss the future transportation needs of the region.
To this end, Bismarck Mayor Mike Seminary has announced the formation of a special task force to review regional roadway plans and to propose actions to deal with the continuing high volumes of increased traffic in the region. The purpose of the task force will be to review existing transportation system information and to develop a vision for the needs of the region in the next 25 years. The four major jurisdictions who are stakeholders in any discussion about future needs in this region are the City of Bismarck, State of North Dakota, Burleigh County and the City of Lincoln. Each jurisdiction is invited to designate a person to participate in the regional transportation task force. The task force will begin its business immediately.