Montana

Sep 13, 2012 10:23 AM by David Jay

Billings Bypass options presented to public

LOCKWOOD, MT - Billings area residents had an opportunity to hear the latest on the proposed Billings Bypass from Lockwood to the Heights, and east of the heights toward Huntley.

The Montana Department of Transportation presented parts of its Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), at Eileen Johnson Middle School Wednesday night.

The meeting also included a public hearing, preceded by a question and answer session.

Some residents asked questions about their concerns with the project. Those concerns included bringing truck traffic into a residential area, rights of way, effects on trails,.potential commercial development, bridges, noise and trucks carrying hazardous waste.

The Bypass would connect Interstate 90 at Johnson Lane with Old Highway 312 heading to Huntley.

The project would involve some reconstruction of Mary Street and Five Mile Road.

The public can comment on three alternatives and a no build option.

The project team recommended what it calls Mary Street 2, which would would cost about 111-million dollars.

"It performs similarly to the other alternatives," said Wendy Wallach, consultant project manager for David Evans & Associates. "There's a few less environmental impacts and the costs are real similar. So that's what we're recommending at this point, but it hasn't been finalized."

The public can submit comments until October 1st.

The final environmental impact statement is expected to be complete in the spring, with construction on the first phase starting in about three to five years.

More information and a copy of the Draft EIS are available on the Billings Bypass website.

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