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Billings and Yellowstone County plan for bypass roadway

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Posted at 11:03 PM, Jun 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-18 10:26:50-04

The Billings Bypass, which connects Lockwood to the Heights, is expected to be completed by the Montana Department of Transportation in 2025.

The public had a chance to comment another local project connected with that in the planning stages.

An open house featured the corridor at Independent School on Thursday afternoon.

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The first phase of the Billings bypass, part of Five Mile Road, has been built.

The second phase, the Yellowstone River Bridge, is under construction.

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KTVQ photo

"It's very important," said Lisa Olmsted, DOWL public involvement manager. "It will improve connectivity in our community dramatically, including an alternate access to the Heights besides just that single point at the Metra. And then of course, the economic development that could happen as a result of the connection between Lockwood and the Heights. All the design is happening very intentionally to improve safety for travelers around the community. So it's really exciting, exciting project.

The corridor will be north and east of Mary Street and the city and the county want to plan for it now.

"The city-county planning department identified the need to pro-actively plan for development in the northern Heights that will be impacted by the Billings bypass to plan for the development," Olmsted said. "It's an opportunity to have a new roadway come in, and it's not very often that you have a totally new roadway built."

It's a unique chance for the citizens in the design of the buildings bypass corridor.

"There's an opportunity for public to take a poll to dream about what the future corridor looks like," she said. "What the purpose will be. How the community would like to use it. Go to the website, It's too early to know really where the conversation will go but now is the time to really have a voice in what the what the future community looks like."

Olmstead said plans for the corridor may be ready in about 10 months.