Dalrymple Celebrates Completion of Grahams Island Road Improvements
BISMARCK, N.D. – Gov. Jack Dalrymple today joined residents and officials from the Devils Lake Basin to celebrate the completion of improvements to Grahams Island Road. The North Dakota Department of Transportation began last year a $15 million project to raise and pave the county road when Devils Lake threatened to flood the roadway and block access to Grahams Island State Park and area homes.
Dalrymple, North Dakota Parks and Recreation Director Mark Zimmerman, Devils Lake Mayor Dick Johnson, county commissioners and other area residents and officials celebrated the road project’s completion today at the entrance to Grahams Island State Park.
“We have committed significant resources to lower Devils Lake and to maintain road access in the basin,” Dalrymple said. “The completion of the Grahams Island Road project is another important part of that commitment. With the project completed we have ensured continued access to one of our most popular state parks and a major contributor to the regional economy.”
Grahams Island State Park draws nearly 100,000 visitors annually and is one of the top travel destinations in the state. Work to raise and pave the five-mile stretch of Grahams Island Road began last fall. With a combination of federal, state and local funding, the road has been raised six feet to an elevation of 1,461 feet above mean sea level (msl).
Since 1994, about $550 million has been invested on state highways, county roadways and tribal roads within the Devils Lake Basin. The state also will have invested more than $100 million on two water outlets designed to relieve Devils Lake flooding. The pump-flow outlets are currently releasing 600 cubic feet of water per second. State officials continue to monitor water quality and quantity to mitigate downstream impacts. Last year, Devils Lake peaked at 1,454.40 feet above msl, nearly two feet higher than the lake’s current level.