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ND plans to reopen highway near Dakota Access Pipeline this week

MORTON COUNTY, N.D. – State officials will reopen North Dakota Highway 1806 south of Mandan at noon Friday, March 17, but will require traffic to be escorted by pilot cars.

The pilot cars will escort vehicles in the area of the former Dakota Access Pipeline protest camps, starting at Fort Rice and continuing about 9 miles to an area south of the Cannonball Bridge.

The process, which may delay motorists by up to 30 minutes, will continue until state and county officials determine it is safe to resume normal traffic flow.

Contractors have removed more than 10,000 tons of debris from the three areas of land managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, according to the North Dakota Joint Information Center. Crews continue to clear additional debris from ditches and remove mud from the roadway south of the Backwater Bridge.

“With the camps and roadway cleared, we can now move toward re-establishing traffic on Highway 1806 and restoring normalcy for the residents of Morton and Sioux counties and all of North Dakota,” Gov. Doug Burgum said in a statement. “We ask for the cooperation of all parties to ensure a smooth transition.”

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