Improvements Planned for 6th St. Underpass Interchange
When I moved to Billings in the late 90s I lived just a couple of blocks north of the 6th Street Underpass. I liked the central location that offered easy access to downtown, the west end, and the interstate. When the first big rain of the season hit, I also got to experience the "lake" that swells up under the bridge. It happens basically every time we get heavy rain. Usually, you'll find at least one stalled-out vehicle in the water and the section of road is often closed temporarily during floods.
The Montana Department of Transportation has been considering improvements to the intersection for some time. In a press release dated 6/12, DOWL Engineering presented more details of the plans, with construction tentatively scheduled to begin in summer 2022.
The newly-designed project incorporates new traffic signals, storm drain, lighting, improved pedestrian facilities, and upgraded signing to enhance these intersections, promote accessibility and improve safety.
The plans include adding additional turn lanes, adding new lighting and other pedestrian-friendly improvements, relocating the storm drains and pump house, adding water run-off storage ponds, and more. You can read more on the MDT website.
According to MDT funding for the project is through the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Program, a flexible funding source to state and local governments for transportation projects and programs to help meet the requirements of the Clean Air Act. I know road construction is an inconvenience (and this one will likely be a headache for many drivers), but it sure is nice when it's all done.