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Possible roundabout eyed for dangerous Flathead intersection

Posted at 6:27 PM, Feb 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-18 20:27:46-05

KALISPELL — Officials from Montana Department of Transportation and truck drivers met on Tuesday at Depot Park in Kalispell to discuss improvements for one of the most dangerous intersections in the Flathead Valley.

MDT officials say that between 2003 and 2014, there were 48 crashes at the Dern Road and Spring Creek intersection.

State transportation officials are looking to make the intersection safer by replacing it with a roundabout. While roundabouts have been controversial, especially for truck drivers, officials with MDT said it's the best option.

Right now, the four way intersection sits on a hill.

The new roundabout would be moved northwest of the current intersection so it will be flat and would be a single lane with sloped curbs that would allow larger trucks to safely get through without damaging their rigs.

Tim McEntire -- a safety consultant with the Montana Regional Logging Association who has driven through this intersection his entire life -- says he wants to make sure his drivers are safe passing through this intersection.

"As you drive through especially in the winter time, the approach from the side roads are so steep," explained McEntire "You're very concerned someone is going to slide into you and hit you. You really can't see the traffic coming into that intersection until you're almost on top of it."

MDT says this is intersection is their top priority for the region and construction on the roundabout should start spring of 2021.