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$150M bypass brings an end to 'truckmageddon' through ND oil city

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After years enduring the sound of oil trucks thundering through their city, residents of Williston, North Dakota, finally got a break this week.

Bringing an end to the so-called "Truckmageddon," Governor Jack Dalrymple officially opened a new road that will bypass Williston's north and west sides, meaning freight traffic going to and from the Bakken oil shelf can avoid downtown.

The $150 million, 13-mile, 4-lane bypass has been under construction since 2013, according to North Dakota transportation, and connects Highways 82 and 2.

KXNet reports the bypass will keep "hundreds of large trucks out of the heart of Williston," with this being the biggest complaint from the city's inhabitants since the oil boom began several years ago.

"It's a great day, it means a lot," Dalrymple said. "It changes the way people feel about their community and I don't have to tell you that that is the number one thing on people's minds."

The Forum News Service reports that traffic levels in Williston have grown 160 percent since 2008 as a result of the booming Bakken, with around 4,700 trucks passing through the city each day during the peak of oil traffic in 2012.

About 29,000 vehicles travel through Williston each day, including about 4,700 trucks during the peak of oil traffic in 2012, according to the North Dakota Department of Transportation. In 2008, the city had about 11,500 vehicles traveling through per day.

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