KALISPELL – According to Montana Department of Transportation, 48 crashes and one fatality happened between 2003 and 2014 at the intersection of Dern and Springcreek in Kalispell.
MDT now as a solution and plan to add a roundabout to that area.
Right now, a blinking light is all the protects drivers from the four-way intersection. MDT tells MTN that a roundabout will force drivers to slow to 15 or 20 mph.
Construction is anticipated to start in 2021 with little interruption of the area for commuters. Right now, 90 percent of commuters are traveling east and west through this intersection and the roundabout will anticipate an increase in traffic for 20 years.
On Tuesday, truck drivers tested out the design of the new roundabout at an empty lot behind the Kalispell Fairgrounds.
MTN spoke with truck driver Aaron Allen, who has been driving trucks for 32 years and says this roundabout will make regular traffic safer, but could cause issues for trucks if not designed properly.
“If the curbs are built too high, we rub our tires,” Allen says. “Some of the guys that pull low boys, stuff like that, they end up scraping on the bottom. They can actually ruin their equipment.”
MDT wants to hear your thoughts on this project. You can email Katie at Katie@bigskypublicrelations.com and you can also call the project hotline at 406-207-4484 during business hours. Or, you can text DERN to 41411.
The project’s website is listed here.