North Dakota oil industry wreaks havoc on state’s roads


Problems for North Dakota infrastructure have occurred after an oil train derailed and exploded in the town of Casselton. Photo by Flickr user porchlife

The oil boom in North Dakota has caused major problems for the state’s roads, railways and housing, Financial Times reports.

North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple said keeping up with the speed of the industry is a “big challenge every day.” North Dakota’s economy is growing faster than any other state in the nation, but it has some of the highest comparable rents in the country. And as trucks and equipment flow to the Bakken shale rock formation for oil extraction, the region’s roads are crumbling.

“There are strains there just from the pace of growth. For many people who have lived their whole life in western North Dakota, when it was a very, very quiet place, this is a change they would not have wished for,” Dalrymple told Financial Times.

The issues come after an oil train derailed and exploded on Dec. 30 in the North Dakota town of Casselton.

According to Prairie Business, officials in the state are now considering hiring their own inspectors to examine the safety of tracks, tank cars and rail-loading facilities. That job has so far been left to federal regulators.

Dalrymple said officials will explore the idea in the next few months.

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