The North Dakota Department of Transportation will close five rest areas, keep 20 jobs open and cut back temporary employees in order to make up for a revenue shortfall this year.
According to the Dickinson Press, NDDOT Director Grant Levi announced the cuts at a recent Transportation Committee meeting, and said they were necessary in order to offset the $69.2 million shortfall.
Local transportation departments across the state will also receive about $31.3 million less than expected for projects from the state’s highway fund.
The state is closing rest areas in Norwich, Finnish, Germantown, Pleasant Lake and Skyeston in the northern part of the state. The closures will save NDDOT about $70,000 annually in operating costs and other savings.
Much of the blame can fall to oil industry which is experiencing a downturn right now and heavily impacting the state. The weaker oil industry has led to less revenue from fuel taxes, vehicle registration fees and truck regulatory fees.