FARGO — A new report is showing some of North Dakota's roads aren't up to par, despite the state putting money towards fixing them.
Researchers with the non-profit transportation group TRIP — which is based in Washington, D.C. — say nearly half of North Dakota's urban roads are in poor condition.
Of that, 26% of Fargo's roads and 34% of Bismarck's roads have the same designation, and it cost Fargo drivers an average of $630 in extra vehicle operating costs for driving on bad roads.
Back in 2019, state lawmakers passed House Bill 1066, known as "Operation Prairie Dog," to set aside up to $250 million for infrastructure in cities, counties and airports.
"Our economy grows just as our infrastructure will support it, and this report really does help highlight that fact," said Scott Meske with the North Dakota Transportation Coalition.
Dan Wogsland, the executive director for the North Dakota Grain Growers Association, said having HB 1066 signed into law, plus President Biden's over $2 trillion infrastructure plan, will hopefully bring needed funds to help make roads across the state safer.
"Without adequate transportation infrastructure in North Dakota, North Dakota farmers can't plant (crops), they can't raise (them), and they can't sell (them)," he said.
TRIP's report shows over 550 drivers lost their lives because of road crashes from 2015 to 2019, and damages from any kind of crash where bad roads were part of the cause cost the state nearly $800 million each year.