BOZEMAN — After months of construction, Baxter Lane is now finally open to through traffic and residents who live on this major road say the construction has been a long process, but it's needed.
“It's Bozeman, it’s growth,” says Elinor Swanson.
Swanson lives on Baxter Lane. She says the road construction and new roundabout have their pros and cons.
“Our house behind you, there is a bit of a pit and there didn't used to be,” says Swanson. “The crossing lights, we were happy that they were coming so our kids could cross safely. But seeing it in reality, it's a lot of boxes and equipment and just looks a little different than you would imagine.”
The project extends Cottonwood Road from Oak Street by the new high school, all the way to Baxter.
“That will now be a much-needed relief valve to get some traffic off of Flanders Mill in particular,” says City of Bozeman Director of Transportation and Engineering Nick Ross.
Ross says Baxter Lane will be fully open to traffic by the end of this week.
“We're working as fast as we can,” says Ross. “We got to get the street lights energized and some of the final pavement work complete. But as soon as we can get all that done, we're going to open the roundabout to traffic.”
He says the city understands the project has been challenging for community members.
“We appreciate everybody's patience. We know it can get very hard to sit through the delays, but we've got a very short construction season in southwest Montana and we appreciate sticking with us,” says Ross.
For Swanson, she doesn’t have many complaints, but she is glad the work is finally starting to wind down.
“Everyone was working really hard and trying to accommodate us, and for the most part, I don't have any complaints,” says Swanson.