The new Lockwood Ace Hardware that was announced about a year ago is now opening their doors to the public this weekend as they kick off the newest store and business in the Lockwood area. Skip King, owner of two other Ace Hardware stores in Billings, has invited the public and community in a ceremonial “board” cutting compared to a ribbon cutting on Friday September 23, 2016 at 11:30am. The newest business in Lockwood is located to locate just down the street on Johnson lane from Lockwood’s newest fire station that was completed this last spring.
With the recent upgrades in infrastructure, business traffic as well as water and sewer services provided in the Lockwood area, the new Ace Hardware store provides yet more reasons the Lockwood area is growing in size. As the final EIS (Environment Impact Study) project and assessment had been completed and approved, preliminary construction plans are being conducted on the Billings Bypass which will connect Lockwood to Billings in the Heights along Johnson lane.
Stefan Streeter, District Administrator of the Montana Department of Transportation for the Billings area region, said last week that physical construction of the first part of the new Five Mile Road, which is the part of the Billings Bypass, could be in full construction by 2018 with the rest of the Billings Bypass completed thereafter. The entire Billings Bypass project entails different phases which include construction of a bridge over the Yellowstone River as well as a bridge over the Railroad in Lockwood. The Five Mile road will be completed as well as the new road along Marys Street in Billings Heights. Coulson Road in Lockwood will be widened to eventually be able to provide for a four-lane road for years to come but a two-lane road will be modified first. Reconstruction and landscaping will have to be completed for the Interstate 90/Johnson Lane on and off ramps in order to accommodate the new Billings Bypass to connect. According to Stefan Streeter, he would like to see the whole project completed as soon as 2020 but there is too many unanswered details to be able to give a completion date as that is premature.
Lockwood is the biggest unincorporated town in the State of Montana with about 8,000 residents in Lockwood proper. The I-90/Johnson lane intersection is the busiest semi truck traffic in the state of Montana due to location, truck stops and other businesses like Fly-in Lube & Car Wash off Johnson Lane to provide services and access to the area.
Lockwood Ace hardware is just another business to locate recently to the Lockwood area. Entertainment, refreshments and activities will be provided through the weekend as the grand opening kicks off.