Northstar Transloading

A multi-commodity inbound/outbound railroad and trucking transload terminal owned and operated by NorthStar Transloading (NST) serving the Bakken oil region of North Dakota. It is an engineer/procure/construct (EPC) project by Strobel/Starostka Construction, with Merrick and Company performing shop drawing reviews for NST and Ulteig performing resident project representative functions (RPR) to assist in observing the progress and quality of the project.

Primary commodities handled

  • Crude oil
  • Proppant (man-made ceramic sand)
  • Sand


  • 400 acres
  • 2 miles long
  • 16 rail tracks (over 12 miles)


  • 5 103,000-barrel crude tanks
  • 12 tanker trucks able to offload at a time
  • 20 rail cars able to be loaded at a time
  • 1 unit train per day (109-120 cars per train)
  • 6 2,500-ton natural sand silos

Project challenges

  • Road reconstruction for added heavy traffic
  • Modifications to irrigation canals and drainage ditches running through project site
  • Multiple state, county, utility and private stakeholders

Future expansion capabilities

  • 20-mile oil pipeline from Alexander, N.D., for crude transfer
  • Interconnect pipelines
  • Add-on to the load barn for an additional 20 load arms
  • Additional natural sand facility
  • Additional rail tracks, warehouses, crude tanks

Client comment
“Merrick and Ulteig were retained by NST Transload Operating Company to review shop drawings and assist with onsite monitoring of construction activities in relation to NST’s greenfield East Fairview rail and truck transportation hub. The Ulteig and Merrick teams’ continued valuable contribution is expected to result in an on-time and on-budget delivery of this very fast-track project.”

  • Brian Jenson, COO of NorthStar Midstream

Planning for the new $273 million Williston Basin International Airport (XWA) began in 2012. Ulteig started working with the City of Williston in 2015 to develop solutions to manage this very high-profile project. Ground was broken on October 10, 2016, and in June 2017 Ulteig began their role as overall program manager. During the project Ulteig managed 29 active contracts, 16 prime contractors, 16 consulting companies and seven tenant projects.

Ulteig’s advanced preparation of an a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Airport Improvement Program application resulted in $112.4 million in funding and allowed the airport to obtain competitive bids and start projects early – thus reducing the project’s timeline by roughly nine months.

The City of Williston also hired Ulteig to provide cultural monitoring staff on the construction site. Facilitated by Ulteig, the FAA consulted with tribal historic preservation officers throughout the XWA project to understand the tribes’ concerns and interests. The construction was continually monitored by Ulteig to make sure those concerns were kept in mind. The FAA will replicate this project’s model for future federally funded projects.

XWA opened on time, on Oct. 10, 2019. It is the first new commercial greenfield airport in the U.S. in over eight years and will greatly improve transportation access to this growing region.