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A public meeting, held last week, launched the beginning of a Montana Department of Transportation study of the railroad crossing at 27th Street in downtown Billings to determine solutions to safety hazards and traffic congestion caused by the crossing.

Tim Erickson, PE, of HDR Engineers, who is the project manager for the study said that the purpose of the public meeting was to brainstorm ideas and gather public input before developing any designs or proposed solutions for the short term and the long term. A couple dozen people attended the meeting. They were invited to visit a number of different stations around the room and ask questions about schematics on display and various issues confronting any improvements to the intersection.

The detailed feasibility study will consider, at minimum, traffic operational and engineering analysis, safety, railroad coordination, bicycle/pedestrian facilities, Americans With Disabilities Act needs, environmental issues, geometric considerations, right-of-way, utilities, stakeholder input, and impacts to adjacent buildings and businesses.

Two more public hearings are slated which includes the final proposal expected to be forthcoming at the end of 2019. The next public hearing will be held in February or March 2019.

More information is available online at the project website at: mdt.mt.gov/ pubinvolve/ billings27thstreet