KLJ was contracted by the North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT) to conduct the environmental review process for the US Highway 85 Project. Services performed include preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), preliminary engineering, survey, public and agency coordination, and several environmental field studies. The project encompasses approximately 62 miles of roadway and would expand US Highway 85 from a two-lane highway to a four-lane highway with flexible design options to avoid or minimize impacts. In addition, the project would rehabilitate or replace the historic Long X Bridge over the Little Missouri River. The project corridor traverses the Little Missouri River Badlands and Little Missouri National Grasslands, and borders the Theodore Roosevelt National Park – North Unit.
The project is being led by the Federal Highway Administration in cooperation with the NDDOT as joint lead agencies. Cooperating agencies consist of the National Park Service, US Army Corps of Engineers, and US Forest Service. In addition, the project includes 17 participating agencies and a stakeholder group.
KLJ is in the process of completing the EIS and preliminary engineering to analyze the environmental effects of alternatives and options developed for the US Highway 85 corridor. Our team of environmental experts documented existing conditions along the corridor and assessed impacts of the project by performing cultural resource surveys, wetland delineations, paleontological surveys, botany and wildlife surveys, noise studies, hazardous materials surveys, and a needs and feasibility assessment for wildlife crossing/accommodations. KLJ also led a robust stakeholder engagement effort with the goal of obtaining and retaining stakeholder involvement throughout the life of the project. These efforts include numerous public and agency meetings, formation of a project stakeholder group, on-site field reviews, and the use of visual simulations and Esri Story Maps to communicate project information.
The goal of the US Highway 85 Project is to utilize existing infrastructure to minimize potential impacts on environmental, socioeconomic, and human-made resources to the maximum extent practicable. The project addresses social and economic development demands, improves system linkage/connectivity of the four-lane roadway network, improves safety for the travelling public, provides additional roadway capacity to meet projected traffic volumes, addresses transportation demands associated with the National Highway System and Interregional System roadway classifications, remedies slope instability or landslide concerns, and improves ecological connectivity while reducing the potential for wildlife-vehicle collisions.