Members of the Highway 2 Association are rolling local highways down the road to additional funding if they are able to have U.S. Highway 2, and other highways between Billings and the Port of Wild Horse designated as an addition to the Theodore Roosevelt Expressway. The current expressway runs through North Dakota and briefly into Montana. The expansion of the expressway to include the Montana roadways would make the roads eligible for additional funding and set them as priorities, said Bob Sivertsen, president of the association. "It does not guarantee us anything, but allows us a shot," he said. The association, along with Ports-to- Plains Alliance which is also behind the measure, is asking members of local governments along the highway for support, and Havre City Council will discuss backingÄ1 the proposal tonight at 7 in City Hall during its regular meeting. Other local governments from Roosevelt to Glacier counties also will be asked. "That, too, will pack some weight when we go to Congress" to request the designation be added to the transportation reauthorization bill, Sivertsen said. There is more support than ever for a widened highway, he said. "So that's why we're really pushing so hard," he said. Additional money would be used to increase U.S. Highway 2 to four-lanes across the state, one segment at a time. The other roads have been added to the proposal at the request of Alberta, Sivertsen said. "Alberta has really been working with us because our commerce and trade has been increasing every year from 2004 right up to now," he said. He added that he hopes additional funding would increase economic development along the highway more. Having a larger transportation system would attract more businesses, he said, in addition to creating jobs to build it. "So we're saying to Congress, if you want to take and give us a stimulus, let's take and give us some money to grow infrastructure," he said.
City may back plan to hike highway funding
Published: Monday, March 15th, 2010
Click Here To See More Stories Like This