Havre Daily News
Sometimes the route skiers take to the lift is the bumpiest ride.
That's the case with the road leading to Bear Paw Ski Bowl, Chippewa Cree tribe parks and recreation director Jason Belcourt said.
“The potholes are so bad it messes up your car,” Belcourt said of the condition of Beaver Creek Road.
Belcourt last week received the Rocky Boy tribal council's approval to apply for federal funds to help make the road a smoother drive.
He said he is working on an application for a federal transportation grant with a May deadline.
If the tribe receives the grant, it would get about $400,000 to use on the road.
“Boy, that road needs it. The road would be better off if it was gravel,” Belcourt said.
Tribal environmental health director Tim Rosette said the tribe could use the money to grind down the pavement and make it a gravel road.
Rosette on Monday said the cost to repave the section of road from the reservation line to the ski hill would be about $5.3 million, or about $1 million per mile.
He said the best solution for the bumpy road is to completely reconstruct the road.
He said he plans to research the possibility of designating that stretch of road as a “scenic byway,” which would open the tribe up to more possible sources of funding for the road.
After the Chippewa Cree tribe took over road construction from the Bureau of Indian Affairs last year, which means the tribe now receives federal dollars directly, it repaved and repaired some roads on the reservation, including sections of Duck Creek Road.
The Montana Department of Transportation repaved the roadway through Beaver Creek Park in 2003.
Rosette said the tribe will not do any major work on the road until construction on East Fork dam is finished, because the heavy equipment would ruin the road.. The dam is expected to be completed by next year.
He said crews will be patching the road this summer.