POLL: Tunnel or Overpass in Downtown Billings
I know very little about the topic that I'm writing about today: city planning and construction.
I ran across the story on the KTVQ website. The article was talking about doing something about where the train crosses 27th street. The goal is to make traffic flow smoothly through that area without having traffic stop every time a train comes through. And they come through often.
Some of the things that I don't know include the possibility of moving the train tracks somewhere else. I heard that the railroad gets priority because they were there first.
One option would be a tunnel, which would cost approximately $85 million, while an overpass would be a comparative steal at $35 to $40 million.
But either one is going to alter traffic patterns in downtown Billings. A couple of our streets are going to be turned into "right turn only" lanes. You know how people are going to have a meal downtown and will circle Broadway, go right on 3rd, then right on Montana looking for parking places that are as close as possible to their chosen restaurant? They will make the loop seven or eight times if necessary. I know because I am those people.
I'll see somebody pull out of a prime parking spot right after I go by them, and despite that, I take four right turns at warp speed, the spot has always been taken, which means seven or eight more loops.
So, I guess I'm taking a mini-survey. Which do you prefer? Tunnel or overpass? Or maybe you have another solution.