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Letter: Investing in infrastructure is good for North Dakota

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Investment in infrastructure multiplies. The Federal Highway Administration says that for every $200 million in projects, 2,600 jobs are created and $764 million in economic growth is realized. This is in addition to improved safety and the simple fact that when projects are completed sooner, it results in better roads for all of us.

The North Dakota Department of Transportation partnered with the USDOT to increase funding from the federal government. Our aggressive pursuit of federal money for North Dakota puts us in a great position. For example, we have received federal grants to improve the resiliency of North Dakota roads ($22 million), local transit grants ($15 million) and grants for county bridges ($6.5 million), and we recently received an Infrastructure for Rebuilding America grant for passing lanes along U.S. 52 between Carrington and Kenmare ($16.75 million).

Governor Burgum’s Accelerate ND plan is yet another great opportunity for North Dakota. The plan proposes investing $355 million of the federally allocated American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to infrastructure projects. This includes devoting $332 million dollars to address critical road needs in North Dakota and $23 million dollars to invest in township road repairs.

Every month matters. Building roads and bridges isn’t like buying a car. Transportation projects take years to plan, execute and complete. Couple that with increasing costs, North Dakota winters, supply chain issues, high inflation on goods, reduced availability of contractors and labor shortages, and you can see how making the investment today pays off in big ways in the long run.

For more information on transportation infrastructure and how it impacts you, visit dot.nd.gov and click on Transportation Connection.

Bill Panos, Bismarck

Director, North Dakota Department of Transportation

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