Two Projects in One

Throughout the last several decades, the City of Belgrade, Montana, and Gallatin County have experienced significant population growth. In addition to a myriad of other concerns, the influx in population was causing traffic congestion in the heart of Belgrade at the four-way stop intersection of Broadway and Main Street. And at the community’s only interchange, the westbound I-90 off-ramp at Jackrabbit Lane was reaching the saturation point. Emergency service providers were frequently blocked by trains as there were no grade-separated crossings in Belgrade. In the late 1970s, local planners began to consider the need to increase access to the interstate and improve access to the airport.

Increased traffic was not the only issue facing local leaders. There had been strong growth at Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport (BYIA) since the mid-1970s when a connection from the airport directly to the interstate was first mentioned in the 1976 Airport Master Plan. Passenger numbers had doubled since 2011, with a 46% increase in the last five years alone. BYIA enplaned 500,011 passengers for the 12-month period ending August 31, 2015, and became the ninth busiest airport in the northwest mountain region.

Tackling the traffic issues within Belgrade and the growing enplanements for BYIA resulted in a project that focused on the efforts of the Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) and BYIA for the betterment of a multi-modal corridor located on the east edge of Belgrade.