Great Falls Arterial Alignment Study
An arterial link between Interstate 15 and U.S. Highway 87/89 has been under consideration by Great Falls and Cascade County officials for many years. In 1994 a local working group was assembled to support development of the arterial. The working group put together a "Strategy Plan" which identified the steps to make the arterial a reality. The arterial was incorporated into the Great Falls Area Transportation Plan in 2000 as a result. In 2004 an Arterial Feasibility Study identified a South Arterial as a feasible route that would provide a variety of benefits to the transportation system. Under the 2005 Federal Transportation Bill, Great Falls and Cascade County received a $4.5 million earmark to conduct a location study and environmental analysis for the arterial.
An Alignment Study for the South Arterial is complete. The Alignment Study built on analysis from the Feasibility Study. It provides a detailed analysis of the opportunities and constraints in the study area and includes cost estimates of proposed alignments. The study identifies a recommended alignment from six alignment options. If a project is forwarded from this study the alignments will be reviewed under a future National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process to minimize impacts from the arterial.
On April 5, 2010, the Great Falls Policy Coordinating Committee, as the official decision making body for the Great Falls transportation planning process, took action to cease work on the development of a south arterial.