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Missoula interchange project about to break ground

The Montana Department of Transportation is about to break ground on the Van Buren round-about project.

The Montana Department of Transportation is about to break ground on the Van Buren round-about project.

To say the Van Buren interchange is busy, is an understatement.

“It is a very congested area in town,” resident Mackenzie Fauque said.

Fauque lives just a block from Van Buren. She feels and hears the traffic and congestion.

“There is one way going in and one way going out,” she said.

That's why the Montana Department of Transportation organized the Van Buren street interchange project, as a solution to improve safety and reduce delays for drivers and pedestrians.

The project has already seen tree removal making way for earth movers and construction crews. Now it will add roundabouts, two of them. One on the Interstate’s north side and another on the south side, both traffic circles connecting roads and streets with a very busy interstate 90.

In addition to traffic flow, improved landscape is also a priority.

“I love the idea that they are doing landscaping and I like to run through that area. so, if it improves that a little bit and keeps the traffic flowing little better. that would be nice,” resident Laurie Pace said.

the project will establish a fresh look... new trees added, others preserved. together they'll meet modern design standards.

As for Fauque she is ready for change.

“Overall I think the flow of travel will be little better. the construction is not going to be very fun but i am excited about it,” she said.

If weather cooperates, the entire project should be complete in November.

The Montana Department of Transportation will host an open house this week to give the community insight into how the project will progress.

The open house is scheduled for Tuesday April 17 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Missoula Children’s Theatre.

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