Williston US 85 Northwest Bypass

Williston, North Dakota

In 2010, SRF completed a transportation plan for the City of Williston, North Dakota. One of the highest priority transportation needs identified during the planning process was a highway that would serve as a bypass around the north and west sides of Williston. This need was identified due to increasing volumes and particularly  semi-trucks traveling through the City on US Highway 2/85. As a follow-up to the adoption of the plan, SRF explored several potential routes for a bypass in 2011. This analysis included a detailed traffic operations study, which included the development of a regional travel demand model for the City of Williston.  This tool was used to help predict high-level traffic impacts to area travel patterns and volumes.  From that point, detailed traffic simulation models were developed to identify the roadway geometric and traffic control needs along the bypass.  This study also quantified the impact to the existing US Highway 2 corridor, illustrating the needs for the bypass. SRF was later selected for the environmental documentation and design of this important highway facility.

The need for a temporary truck reliever route was identified during the early stages of the project. SRF completed the environmental clearance and design of the two-lane rural highway facility during the process of data collection, study, and preliminary design for the permanent four-lane highway. The temporary truck reliever route was constructed in 2012.

The Environmental Assessment (EA) for the permanent bypass project was completed in 2013. Traffic operations analysis, cultural resources, highly variable topography, wetlands, surface streams, utilities, and recently approved developments were some of the many environmental factors that were addressed during the complex environmental clearance and design of the four-lane highway. Close coordination with the City of Williston and Williams County was necessary to identify impacts and select a preferred alternative. Public engagement included numerous public meetings and a multitude of property owner contacts. Construction of the Northwest Bypass began in 2014, and a ribbon cutting ceremony was held in 2015 to celebrate its opening.

City of Williston, North Dakota
North Department of Transportation


2016 North Dakota Society of Professional Engineers Design Project of the Year