GALLATIN GATEWAY — At Stacey's Steakhouse in Gallatin Gateway, where everyone is greeted on a first name basis, they all know and see how fast Gallatin County has grown.
“This growth has just exploded so quickly here. I think everyone's head is just kind of spinning,” says Gallatin Gateway resident Chandra Harrison.
Traffic along the stretch of Highway 191 from Four Corners to just past Gallatin Gateway has residents worried and frustrated.
“Traffic in this valley is absolutely insane. You know, it's accident after accident,” said Harrison.
Traffic counts in this area of US Highway 191 in 2018 ranged from 7,000 to 17,000 cars per day. According to the Montana Department of Transportation (MDT), traffic has increased 3 percent and by 2040 they expect to have traffic counts close to 30,000 cars per day near Huffine Lane.
“It's absolutely impossible to get out on this road with the amount of traffic. Everybody is frustrated,” Harrison said.
MDT conducted a corridor study last year looking at areas of improvement. In the Gallatin Gateway entrance area, the study found that a new traffic signal would be necessary to help with traffic mitigation.
“It is a point where we get a lot of traffic complaints, whether it is speeding, road rage, or traffic complaints in general,” says Dan McDonough, Patrol Captain, Gallatin County Sheriff's Office.
McDonough says with Gallatin County's new Sheriff’s Office in Four Corners they are able to be more responsive to complaints in the area.
“You hear sirens all the time out here,” said Harrison.
MDT says that they have found areas that need improvement, but work can't start on the corridor until funding is secured.
Right now, McDonough says that if drivers see any reckless driving to contact the Sheriff's Office at 406-582-2100.