KALISPELL - West Reserve Drive in Kalispell is a vital east-west connector for US Highway 93 and US Highway 2.
The City of Kalispell is applying for a $25 million grant to widen the road and add sidewalks to aid in the efficiency of travel and safety for businesses along this road.
Businesses along this stretch of road have concerns for the safety of their employees and patrons with the steady flow of traffic that is always on this road, and especially during rush hour.
Firefly Children’s Center has had three car accidents when people try to take a left out of their parking lot.
“It's very inconvenient in safely getting in and out of the parking lot to drop off kids, staff coming in and leaving,” said Firefly Children's Center director Keri Topp.
The proposed changes would be to widen the road from three lanes to five and add an eight-foot sidewalk on one side and a five-foot sidewalk on the other, with possible improvements to the intersections.
“It would be really helpful for just parents and staff feeling safe, trying to leave the facility especially when they have children in the car. and so just peace of mind for our staff and our parents having that fixed,” said Topp.
The Kalispell City Council recently unanimously approved the city to apply for a RAISE grant that would cover $25 million of the proposed $33 million project.
The work would widen West Reserve Drive from the Hutton Ranch Road intersection to the Whitefish Stage intersection.
“I think it might be a little difficult during construction, but I think in the long run it will be a good change,” said Topp.
The Kalispell Chamber of Commerce is collecting signatures in support of the project. The deadline for signatures is April 8th at 12pm.