WASHINGTON, DC – The federal government is pledging to pitch in another $12 million to help finish full completion of the Kalispell Bypass.
Although the entire Highway 93 Alternate Route along the west side of Kalispell has been in operation for a couple of years now, the original, southern section is still the same as when it first opened as an “interim bypass” in 2010.
That two-lane section has continued to carry traffic to where it intersects with US Highway 93 south of Kalispell. But it doesn’t have the capacity and full exits and features of the four-lane, northern section of the bypass.
US Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) has announced that Kalispell will receive a $12.7 million BUILD grant to help toward the highway’s completion. That will widen two miles of the highway and replace the narrow roundabout at Foys Lake.
Local leaders had traveled to Washington, DC last summer to urge the US Department of Transportation to approve the funding.
Kalispell Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Joe Unterreiner told MTN News that they “couldn’t be happier” with the news.
“What great news. It’s just a terrific win for Kalispell and the whole Flathead Valley. It just accelerates that project, which isn’t even currently scheduled,” Unterreiner said.
“We’ll have a widened Bypass, and roundabouts removed and all of that will happen over the next two construction seasons. So what great news because we’re already at 2040 traffic counts, even though its only been open two years,” he added.
Senator Steve Daines (R-MT) and Representative Greg Gianforte (R-MT) also worked on getting the BUILD grant approved.