It's time to begin phase II of Williston's ambitious "truck reliever route",  a joint project headed by the North Dakota Department of Transportation in cooperation with Williston and Williams County.

Maybe "cooperation" is the wrong word.

A lot goes into building a new major roadway.  The state has to conduct environmental analysis, investigate for the presence of culturally significant artifacts, and most importantly- figure out why someone drilled an oil well right in the path of the roadway.

Like I said a lot goes into this.

To begin with, the NDDOT had both Williston and Williams County pinky-swear that neither would allow any developments within the study corridor for 10 years. Fair enough.

The Williston Herald is reporting that not everyone got the memo...

However, the Williams County Commission learned during Tuesday's meeting that an oil well has sprung up in area. How that happened is uncertain.

Katie Haarsager, spokesperson for the Oil and Gas Division, told the Williston Herald she would look into what happened there. We also have a request in with the Department of Transportation for more about how this happened. 

It's the type of mistake that would frustrate me from a five year old, in knowing adults were involved, it's full-on cartoon steam coming out my ears kind of aggravation.  Somebody's not getting dessert!

So, they've decided to just reroute the road a bit and have gotten the blessing of the Federal Highway Administration.  Problem solved!  Which is well and good, but I'm more of the mind of Williams County Commissioner Beau Anderson who provided this little nugget...

“I feel if I would have built my house there the state would say tear the damn thing down,” he said. “So to me, it’s like tear down the damn oil well, because that’s where we were planning to build our road. Because if it was a house, that’s what would be said, but that’s just my opinion.”

I'd be happy to just figure out what person/agency actually permitted the well drilling in the first place. Then tell them emphatically that "No means NO!"  But don't stay mad... we all make mistakes.


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