Senate Budget Committee looks at safety of reservation roads
The Senate Budget Committee held a field hearing on the Fort Berthold Reservation in North Dakota on Thursday to examine road safety issues.

Traffic has increased on a state highway that runs through the reservation due to an increase in energy development. Tribal and Bureau of Indian Affairs roads are also overburdened.

"Basically our tribal roads were old cow trails and then they just put a little bit of gravel on them and then they kind of built them up and put some mix on some of them. So now imagine having 18-wheels cross them. All of our roads were built for pickups and cars, maybe a bus or two," Marcus Levings, the chairman of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation of North Dakota, told the committee, The Minot Daily News reported.

Sen. Kent Conrad (D-North Dakota) chairs the committee. Congress is working on a bill to reauthorize federal transportation programs, including the Indian Reservation Roads program.

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Keeping up with the boom (The Minot Daily News 7/9)