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Businesses voice concerns over construction project

By Lauren Maschmedt, KTVM Anchor, lmaschmedt@ktvm.com
Published On: Mar 12 2013 10:52:46 PM MDT
BOZEMAN, Mont. -

"What's this?" said Maura Dixson, grabbing a toy animal to show to her nearly two-year old daughter, Shannon.

Dixson works at Greenwood Academy, a daycare and Montessori school that her kids also attend. She drives over the overpass every day to get the daycare, located near 7th Avenue north of I-90.

She said the last two days have been "a lot slower, and it's getting more hectic in the morning."

Construction started up on the interchange. She said it's a headache her and other parents aren't looking forward to.

"It's going to be kind of a pain if it goes on all summer long" said parent Dustin Farrar, who's seven-month old Thomas is in Greenwood Academy.

Dixson said some parents are even talking about switching daycares.

Other businesses are worried they'll lose business, too- and voiced their concerns at a meeting on the project Tuesday night.

"If you think the biggest impact's the traffic, it's not. It's our businesses" said a representative from Bridger Feeds.

General Manager of the Super 8, Matt Sease, said "your project doesn't really end at the ramp. It does go into areas where we have access to our properties."

The Department of Transportation said it will work to mitigate the issues- like placing better signage to businesses, and trying to avoid loud construction in the early morning for the sake of nearby hotels. At the meeting, they also laid out alternate routes.

"Bear with us, we'll get you back on the interstate and ease traffic as soon as we can" Project Manager Allan Frankl said. "I think it's just really important to focus on what the long term benefits are."

Some workers like Sease say it's a hassle, but a project worth completing.

"Hopefully working together with the DOT and the City of Bozeman, and we can go ahead and alleviate these problems and make it as smooth as we can" he said.

Frankl said the project will span two construction seasons, and is expected to be completed by June of 2014.