When I came back to Watford City in February of 2016, I wrote in several blog posts about how bad the roads were. On Highway 23 Business and roads that join into it, there was no road shoulder, no edge of pavement marking, no curb, no lighting, and no survivable sloped embankment. In April of 2016 Watford City began dumping fill dirt on the road embankments that were too steep, and creating a little bit more road shoulder.
In May of 2016 I read in the Dickinson Press newspaper that Watford City had a meeting with NDDOT to request that the curb, sidewalk, and street lights be completed on Highway 23 Business. At about that time, I saw more and more Knife River construction trucks working in the Highway 23 Business right-of-way. Through May and June I have seen Knife River construction doing very high quality work, efficiently, orderly, and quickly.
This past Sunday I was driving into Watford City early in the morning and I noticed that there are very wide concrete sidewalks on both sides of Highway 23 Business. These sidewalks are so wide, that I wouldn’t even call them sidewalks, they are more like promenades. Though not yet entirely completed, if you switch from one side of the road to the other right now, you can get from Hunters Run Street all the way into downtown Watford City on concrete sidewalk.
There are a tremendous amount of people living in the new apartments and townhomes on Hunters Run Street, probably about 2,000 people. The kids on Hunters Run Street had been cut off from Watford City because there was no safe way for them to get into town. Once these promenades are completed, probably kids as young as 7 years will be able to safely ride their bicycles into town to go to school, go to the store, or visit their friends. The promenades are plenty wide enough for older kids and adults to skateboard on or rollerblade on.
If Watford City will maintain trees and grass on Highway 23 Business, this entrance into Watford City will be very impressive. Impressive because the road is new and wide, all the apartments and hotels are new, the high school is huge, new, and on a hill, and the golf course is on a hill top on the other side of this road.