Flathead Beacon: Kalispell Receives $25 million for West Reserve Upgrade
Montana U.S. Sen. Jon Tester on Dec. 16 announced Kalispell will receive $25 million from the Rural Surface Transportation Grant to help the city widen West Reserve Road from three lanes to five, a provision created as part of the bipartisan infrastructure bill the third-term Democrat helped negotiate last summer.
The $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act was the first major legislative effort to succeed under the Biden administration and passed through Congress with bipartisan support, including a 69-30 vote in the Senate. It was opposed by Montana Republican Congressman Matt Rosendale and U.S. Sen. Steve Daines.
“A strong economy starts with safe and reliable infrastructure,” Tester stated in a press release. “Top-notch roads, bridges, and highways improve connectivity and prevent the supply chain disruptions that put a real hurt on working families and small business owners. I am proud to have secured this funding for the City of Kalispell to expand critical transportation infrastructure, boost the local economy, and create good-paying Montana jobs – all while keeping folks in the community safe.”
The city of Kalispell submitted a project application to make improvements on West Reserve Road. The total project is estimated to cost $33 million, with the Montana Department of Transportation funding the difference.
Based on a 2021 corridor study, West Reserve Drive is near capacity and the intersections of Highway 93, Whitefish State Road and Highway 2 are particularly concerning and are failing, according to officials.
The improvement project will include widening West Reserve Road to five lanes, widening Stillwater Bridge, adding a shared use path and sidewalks, and improving intersections with Hutton Ranch Road and Whitefish Stage Road.