Protestors block Highway 1806 in North Dakota for several hours

By Tyson Fisher, Land Line staff writer | 10/24/2016

Approximately 100 protesters blocked Highway 1806 in Morton County, N.D., for several hours on Sunday, Oct. 23. The North Dakota Highway Patrol is warning motorists to be on alert when traveling through the area. Protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline have been going on since Aug. 10.

At around 2 p.m. Sunday afternoon, protesters against the pipeline began barricading Highway 1806 in Morton County with various debris, including hay bales, tree stumps and rocks, according to Lt. Tom Iverson of the North Dakota Highway Patrol.

Law enforcement approached the group at approximately 3:30 p.m. and told protestors to clear the highway. Talks with the protestors lasted more than an hour before the highway was eventually reopened at approximately 4:50 p.m. Both directions of the highway were shut down during the protest.

According to Lt. Iverson, the protest was mostly civil with no arrests made. Local news station KVRR reported more than 260 people have been arrested since protests began in August.

Although the highway has reopened after the latest protest, Lt. Iverson warns motorists that a similar incident can happen again at any time.

“We have blocked roads and diverted traffic numerous times throughout (these protests),” Lt. Iverson said.

The North Dakota Highway Patrol has several mechanisms in place to warn motorists, including media releases, highway signage, and reduced speed limits through zones prone to protests. Law enforcement will reroute motorists as a last resort.

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