by Evelyn Pyburn-Originally published in the 3/16/18 print edition of Yellowstone County News.
LOCKWOOD — How truck traffic will be handled through the Johnson Lane Interchange in Lockwood has been resolved in the latest updates from the Montana Department of Transportation (MDT), regarding the construction of the Billings Bypass.
Engineers and MDT officials expressed confidence in an interview last week, that their proposal for a Diverging Diamond Interchange (DDI) will be a huge improvement to the congestion the interchange now experiences, and that the design will serve growth well into the future.
Several months ago, Lockwood business people made clear at a special meeting with MDT officials their concerns about how the interchange would be designed. Amid a number of options being considered, there were those that the business people believed would be a detriment to the trucking industry upon which many Lockwood businesses depend. (See how a DDI functions at https://vimeo.com/143181922)
It remains a matter of probably five years before construction of the interchange begins – other phases of the project will come first.
The long-anticipated Billings Bypass will begin to take shape in spring 2019, with the commencement of construction of the first phase, an extension and improvement of Five Mile Road, which will become a major arterial connecting with Highway 312. Its upgrade is necessary to handle the increased traffic volumes as traffic is diverted from other routes during the construction of the main portions of the bypass.
Although muted, underlying excitement was evident, as the engineers and MDT officials met with Yellowstone County News last week, to lay forth their plans and invite the public to … Read full story in print or by subscribing to the full YCN online paper here.