Batavia Intersection Improvements
Public Open House #1
Tuesday, March 10, 2020
3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Location: Smith Valley School Gymnasium
2901 Highway 2 West, Kalispell
Open House Invitation
The Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) is considering improvements at the intersection of Batavia Lane and US Highway 2 (US 2). The project is needed to improve safety for school children crossing US 2 and to improve how the intersection functions for vehicles now and in the future.
The project area includes the intersection of Batavia Lane and US Highway 2, approximately four miles west of Kalispell. Smith Valley School is on the southwest corner of the intersection, and Kelly Rae’s Gas Station and Convenience Store is on the northwest corner. The Great Northern Historical Trail, Ashley Creek, and the Batavia Waterfowl Production Area are located just to the east of the intersection. An access road to the Waterfowl Production Area is also located across from Batavia Lane.
What are the issues at this intersection?
In 2014, the Federal Highway Administration finalized a Road Safety Audit that identified the US 2/Batavia Lane intersection as a location in need of safety and operational improvements. Primary safety issues included multiple crashes at the intersection and near-miss accidents at the pedestrian crosswalk on US 2 providing access to the Smith Valley School. In addition, the audit found high-speed southbound right-turn movements onto Batavia Lane accessing Kelly Rae’s Gas Station and Convenience Store, obstructed sight distance due to parked vehicles, and confusing signage, all of which created safety concerns.
What options have been considered to date?
The audit identified a range of possible improvement options such as speed evaluations, educational campaigns, increased law enforcement, speed feedback signs and intersection modifications to reduce speeds, installation of flashing beacons, and roadway lighting.
In 2016, MDT conducted a traffic study determine if additional intersection control would address the findings from the safety audit. The study evaluated both traffic signal and roundabout options. The study found that while both options would reduce traffic delays on Batavia Lane, a roundabout would best address the safety issues outlined in the 2014 audit.
Where are we at with improving the Batavia Lane/US 2 Intersection?
MDT is currently working with the community to gather feedback on known issues at the US 2/Batavia Lane intersection. The project team is simultaneously gathering more information on crash history, current and future traffic volumes and patterns, bike and pedestrian use, environmental resources, and soil and drainage conditions that could affect design and construction at the intersection. After completing these evaluations, the project team will assess a range of alternatives to meet the intersection needs.
Through the current Batavia Intersection Improvements project, MDT will request community feedback about needs and desired improvements. A key part of this process is improving communication with the community as steps are taken to create a safer intersection. In 2019 and 2020, the project team is committed to spending time with members of the Smith Valley, Kila, and Marion communities to open new channels of communication, gather input, and discuss the feasibility of options. The goal is to identify a solution that will create a safer, more efficient intersection, meeting the needs of everyone who uses this intersection for the next 20 years.
When will a project be completed and construction started?
MDT is currently working through a process to determine recommended improvements based on public comments. Depending on the results of this step, MDT may proceed to design and construction at the intersection. The timing of future steps will depend on final recommendations that consider public input.