Kalispell OK’s grant application for West Reserve Drive
Traffic builds heading eastbound on West Reserve Drive as it approaches the traffic light at Whitefish Stage Road in Kalispell in this May 2, 2019, file photo. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)
Daily Inter Lake | May 5, 2022 12:00 AM
Hoping to increase the odds that West Reserve Drive will see roadway improvements, Kalispell City Council is supporting a federal grant application that could provide funds for the project.
Council on Monday approved a resolution for the grant application to be submitted to the U.S. Department of Transportation Multimodal Project Discretionary Grant. The city is submitting the grant in cooperation with the Montana Department of Transportation.
Jarod Nygren, city Development Services Director, said by applying for the grant it would increase the opportunity for the project to move forward sooner as it would mean additional funding.
“This will likely increase our chances of getting that project funded,” Nygren noted. “We feel like it’s definitely worth the effort in submitting this grant.”
West Reserve Drive has seen large increases in traffic and congestion over the years, as it is a major east and west route connecting U.S. 93 and U.S. 2, Nygren notes.
Councilor Sid Daoud questioned sending tax dollars to the federal government to have the money turned into grants, but said work on West Reserve Drive is needed.
“We definitely need that construction to happen on West Reserve Drive,” he said. “We need it to be a more user-friendly road and have more capacity.”
The grant is a separate grant from the recently submitted RAISE grant that would be used for the same project.
The new grant application is for $25 million with a match from MDT. The city would administer the grant.
A study completed by MDT in the fall of 2021 recommends improvements to West Reserve Drive that include widening it from three to five lanes and adding 6-foot landscape boulevards with an 8-foot shared-use path on the north side of the road and a 5-foot sidewalk on the south side.
The purpose of the study was to develop a comprehensive long-range plan for managing the corridor and to identify improvement options to address the needs and objectives identified by the public and agencies.
Features Editor Heidi Desch may be reached at 758-4421 or email@example.com.