Despite all the challenges, many in Williston remain cautiously optimistic. The city has laid out a five-year, $1-billion infrastructure spending plan, including a new $250 million airport.
Shawn Wenko, who leads Williston Economic Development, says despite anticipated lower oil revenues, he doesn't expect wholesale changes to development plans.
"Do I believe 2016 is going to be a quiet year? Yes," Wenko wrote in an op-ed for the Grand Forks Herald last month. "But he oil and gas industry, as it has always done in the past, is going to recover from this."
Wenko says while some projects may be put on hold, he does expect them to be completed.
"We are at a crossroads in developing the future of the City of Williston. We can chose to dwell in the now or we can plan for the future," Wenko said.
And while construction on apartment complexes and hotels is slowing, developers are shifting focus to the region's more pressing pipeline needs.
"Right now, we don't have enough pipeline capacity to put [Bakken crude] in pipes and get it down to Cushing, Oklahoma," a major energy hub, said Patrick McGarry, a property consultant who moved to Williston six years ago.
Read MoreThe Big Apple takes a bite out of solar energy
McGarry arrived with plans to build 40 homes. But he's had success helping others navigate the real estate market. He sees a big opportunity in developing the region's infrastructure.
This spring, construction is expected to begin on the $3.7 billion Dakota Access Pipeline. The project, headed by a subsidiary of Energy Transfer Partners, received approval from regulators in Iowa on Thursday, ending the last major permitting hurdle for the pipeline. The plan has already been approved in North Dakota, South Dakota and Illinois.