The Montana Transportation Commission awarded the Kalispell Bypass and Foys Lake Road interchange contract to local company LHC Construction, Inc. in collaboration with engineering firm KLJ, Inc. on June 25.
The companies will work with the Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) to replace the existing roundabout with an overpass while widening a stretch of the road to four lanes.
The bid was $14.7 million, and the project is scheduled to start in March 2021. A $12.7 million Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) grant is funding much of the project, with the remaining money coming from the MDT.
The two other bids were listed as “Graham and AECOM” at $21.2 million and “Schellinger, Frontier and MMI” at $18.9 million.
The existing roundabout was originally installed as a “temporary infrastructure solution” while funds were accrued for a permanent solution, according to a press release.
“We are thrilled to be able to work through the final design process this summer and fall with construction to follow next spring,” Bob Vosen, Missoula District Administrator for the MDT, said in the press release. “Ultimately, we’ll be providing a safer commute for all.”
The new design, which is still in the works, is planned to reduce congestion and improve traffic flow at the intersection for the estimated 23,000 vehicles that use the roundabout daily.
At an MDT open house in January, officials said the overpass design will be similar to the U.S. Highway 2 overpass, which allows free-flowing traffic with a bridge and southbound and northbound on and off ramps.
For more information, visit https://www.mdt.mt.gov/pubinvolve/kalispellbypass/default.shtml.