Bypass open house focuses on Airport Road, Siderius interchanges

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The Montana Department of Transportation will hold an open house about the Kalispell Bypass Project from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 3 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 30, at the Hampton Inn, 1140 U.S. 2 in Kalispell.

The state is gathering public feedback about the next stages in the development of the southern portion of the U.S. 93 Alternate Route.

The Department of Transportation is working with KLJ Engineering to design and rebuild a 1.5-mile stretch of the bypass starting just south of U.S. 2 and ending at the Siderius Interchange on Basecamp Drive. The project will convert this portion of highway into a four-lane roadway and add a new bridge over Airport Road. The state is also considering alternatives to the existing roundabouts at Airport Road and Basecamp Drive.

Construction would begin on this project “in the coming years.” During construction, the pathway along the highway is expected to be maintained and remain open “unless a short closure is needed for safety reasons.”

“As part of this community-wide project in the Flathead Valley, crews will be studying and evaluating how the Airport Road and Siderius intersections may be rebuilt to better facilitate increasing traffic volumes,” the website for the project states. The Department of Commerce will collect traffic data to make these decisions.

The Foy’s Lake roundabout is not part of this project, but rather is its own separate project, but MDT plans to reconstruct this intersection potentially starting this fall. The city of Kalispell got federal funding to expand the southern half of the bypass from two to four lanes. The Foy’s Lake roundabout will be removed and an interchange will be added.

The web page notes the southern section “always was planned to be widened when funding was available.”

Representatives from MDT will be available throughout the two sessions to discuss the plans, gather input, answer questions and review alternatives. There will not be a formal presentation.

To learn more about the project or provide feedback, call the project hotline at 406-207-4484 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. The project website can be found at https://www.mdt.mt.gov/pubinvolve/kalispellbypass/

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