RONAN - Two open house-style meetings on the second phase of the U.S. 93 Access Control and Corridor Preservation Project between Evaro and Ronan will be held Tuesday and Wednesday.

The first meeting will be Tuesday in Arlee at the Community Center on U.S. 93 from 4 to 7 p.m. The second will be Wednesday at the St. Ignatius Community Center, 400 Mountain View, also from 4 to 7 p.m.

Dick Weaver, a consultant for the Montana Department of Transportation, said the public is invited to attend to learn more about the project, to comment, and to meet with personnel from the Department of Transportation and Skillings-Connolly Inc., the transportation consulting firm.

The project is designed to improve traffic safety and preserve the integrity of the existing U.S. 93 corridor by reducing the number of access points to the highway. The first phase concentrated on the highway between Ronan and Polson. From information gleaned thus far from the planning, the Department of Transportation plans to begin purchasing right of way and access rights this summer on that section of road.

Weaver said the plan for that section of the corridor will reduce access points by 55 percent.

The plan has received the endorsement of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, even though the Tribal Council expressed some concern about the loss of direct highway access to the People's Center in Pablo. The council recommended that the Department of Transportation improve area signs to better direct visitors to the facility.

"Thus far, substantial tribal efforts and recommendations have been incorporated into the Access Classification Plan and Access Control Plan," said Tribal Council Chairman Michael Pablo. "The Tribes look forward to participation in Phase II of the project from Evaro to Ronan."

Residents who want more information about the project can contact the Ronan project office at (406) 676-2500 or via e-mail at skilling@ronan.net.

Monday - 6/14/99

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