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Permits skyrocket for oversize loads on ND roads

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) -- The number of permits issued for oversize or overweight trucks that use county roads and bridges in North Dakota's oil patch has increased more than 500 percent in five years.

The 18 counties in North Dakota's oil patch are expected to fetch more than $4 million in permit fees this fiscal year.

Billings County Sheriff Dave Jurgens says permit fees cover administrative costs and help authorities track shipments. He says counties rely on oil production taxes to fix the roads and bridges.

Jurgens is chairman of a group of county officials who monitor the permits. He says the permit fees haven't changed in at least a decade and the group is slated to review them later this month.

Jurgens says raising the permit fees could help with road maintenance.