State transportation officials are hosting a public meeting on improvement options for the section of U.S. 93 that wraps around the Flathead County Courthouse, known as the couplet.
Montana Department of Transportation officials will discuss possible changes to the road starting at 4 p.m., June 28 in Ballroom A of the Red Lion Hotel at Kalispell Center Mall. A formal presentation will begin at 6 p.m. Project team members will be available before and after the presentation to discuss key findings and eight alternative route scenarios examined during a recent traffic analysis of the project location.
Robert Peccia and Associates was hired to study the road couplet around the courthouse and the surrounding area. The firm has identified eight alternatives for the area. The alternatives include reducing Main Street to two lanes from Center Street to 13th Street; increasing the road around the courthouse couplet to two lanes on each side; keeping the couplet’s current configuration and making First Avenue East a one-way northbound street and First Avenue West a one-way southbound lane; making First Avenue East a one-way northbound lane and expanding Main street into a three-lane, one-way southbound street from Center Street to 13th Street; changing First Avenue West into a one-way southbound street and expanding Main Street into a three-lane, one-way northbound street from Center Street to 12th Street; and updating Willow Glen Drive for expanded traffic from U.S. 93 to Montana 35.
State officials in the past have proposed widening the road around the courthouse to four lanes — two lanes on each side of the courthouse — while county officials have asked for the highway to be reshaped to one side. City officials have expressed concerns that widening the highway to four lanes would only continue to flow large amounts of traffic into downtown and hamper any efforts to transform Main Street into a calmer, more attractive city center.
For more information on the couplet, visit http://mdt.mt.gov/pubinvolve/kalispellcourt.
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