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Transportation officials display new options for Kalispell bypass

Bypass changes.PNG
Posted at 9:15 PM, Jan 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-31 12:06:29-05

KALISPELL — Some major changes may be on the way for two intersections on the Kalispell bypass.

Montana Department of Transportation officials displayed new options Thursday for the southern section of the road at a pair of open houses, displaying four new renderings for changes at both Basecamp Drive and Airport Road.

Montana Department of Transportation District Administrator Bob Vosen said the open house gives the public a chance to give feedback before final decisions are made.

“We’ve got some really high-level conceptual designs, so we just wanted to share that with the public and get some feedback," said Vosen. "We’ve got some opportunities here for the public to let us know what areas are of most concern to them.”

The Kalispell bypass is an eight-mile stretch of roadway used to divert high volume traffic around the center of Kalispell.

Officials talked to the public about possible changes with plans to approve final modifications for both intersections by fall of 2020.

Kalispell resident Max Lauder said he uses the bypass on a frequent basis. He visited the open house to voice concerns and learn about possible changes.

“I’m just concerned about the safety on the interchanges, how you get on and off," said Lauder. "The volume of traffic, how it will move.”

Proposed changes to both intersections include potential over passes and modifications to the existing roundabouts.

Montana Department of Transportation District Administrator Bob Vosen says officials hope to choose a plan in the fall, with construction possible as early as 2024.

“It’s not like we have a hard date we’re shooting for, we want to make sure we find the right solution, the best solution you know, what’s going to be safe and what’s going to be financially viable,” Vosen said.

Public comment on proposed changes is still open and can be submitted to Montana transportation officials online.