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Published April 18, 2011, 08:00 PM

New Bridge Making Flood Season Easier for Some

People who live around Drayton, ND, are happy to have a new bridge during this flood season. The new Drayton Bridge, built last summer, is helping people avoid a detour.

People who live around Drayton, ND, are happy to have a new bridge during this flood season.

Becky Duncklee has lived in Drayton for more than 30 years. She knows how flooding impacts the community.

"It's been getting worse and worse, so thankfully the new bridge was the answer," Duncklee said.

A new bridge built last summer is helping people like Dunklee avoid a 50-mile detour.

"This past year, we put our father-in-law in a nursing home in Hallock. With the old bridge, we wouldn't be able to go back and forth," Duncklee said.

The Drayton bridge is built to withstand a 100-year flood event and this is the first spring it's been used. The old one flooded frequently, having negative impacts on economic development.

"Our grocery store, our gas station, our restaurant, everything. We have a lot of Minnesota traffic," Drayton mayor Ardis Olson said.

The Drayton Bridge, and the new Thompson bridge south of Grand Forks, which is three feet higher than the flood of 1997, are helping travelers like Duncklee make important trips a little easier.

"It's just really nice because a lot of people come from the Minnesota side to come and work here. So it's really convenient, it's stress free.

Ardis: I went across it myself the other day and it's just awesome when you look down and see where the old one was," Duncklee said.

The Drayton bridge is the second longest bridge in North Dakota.

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