Our Lady of the Rockies Tram Approved to Cross I-15 Following Tester Efforts
Senator has worked alongside the Our Lady of the Rockies organization for years to get highway crossing clearance, paving way for next steps
U.S. Senator Jon Tester today announced that the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has approved an air right of way for the construction of a tram over I-15 that would take passengers from Butte to the Our Lady of the Rockies statue, clearing the largest hurdle in its production and paving the way for the way for next steps.
"Our Lady of the Rockies is a shining beacon representing so much to the people of Butte, as well as anyone who has ever come to the Richest Hill and seen her looking over the city," Tester said. "After nearly two decades and hundreds of hours of hard work by the Our Ladies of the Rockies Board, this tram-which would provide a big boost to the local economy and increase access to mountain biking and hiking on adjacent public land-has hinged on getting approval to cross I-15, and I'm proud to have helped facilitate the conversations that made it possible. With this hurdle crossed, fundraising and construction can finally kick into gear, helping the Lady shine brighter as more folks from around the world can come to Butte and see the beauty that she, and the city, have to offer."
For years, Tester has been working with the Our Lady of the Rockies (OLR) organization to get the clearance they need to build the tram. He has facilitated meetings between OLR, FHWA, and the Montana Department of Transportation to help the organization get approval for an air right of way to cross I-15. Now that the right of way has been approved, major fundraising efforts for the project can begin.
The completion of the project could mean more tourism to the city, stimulating the local economy as it attracts people off of I-15 and I-90, helping Butte restaurants, retail stores, hotels, and other small businesses while providing access to mountain biking and hiking on adjacent public land. The tram would transport passengers around 3,000 feet from the eastern edge of Butte to the base of the statue atop the East Ridge.