Expert: Western ND roads limit oil production

Associated Press

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A transportation expert says roads battered by truck traffic in western North Dakota's oil country are already holding back development and driving up shipping costs.

Denver Tolliver spoke Thursday to the North Dakota House's Appropriations Committee. He is associate director of North Dakota State University's Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute.

Tolliver helped write a report that estimates state and local roads in North Dakota's oil country need at least $900 million worth of reconstruction and repairs over the next 20 years.

The report estimates that more than 20,000 new oil wells will be drilled in the next 20 years.

Tolliver says the road improvements also will greatly benefit farmers and other people who live in the region. He says the truck traffic is causing safety concerns.