The border crossings north of Havre will have new welcoming looks starting Friday.
Havre Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Debbie Vandeberg said new “Welcome to Montana” signs will go up Friday at the border at the ports of Wild Horse and Willow Creek.
The signs are part of a program announced in January to put up signs with images of wildlife or scenery in Montana welcoming people to the state. The state is producing 11 different signs, with an image of the Upper Missouri River Breaks on the signs for north of Havre.
Canadian traffic across the border has been high in recent years, with a Chamber of Commerce and Bear Paw Development Corp. survey of local businesses showing that many or most businesses in Havre have significant traffic — and revenue — coming from Canadian customers.
The Port of Wild Horse has been a focus for increased traffic for more than a decade, with a committee comprising members from the Hi-Line and from the Medicine Hat, Alberta, area pushing to have its hours and status upgraded.
The port is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the winter with 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the summer. Truckers must have a permit to take freight across the border at the port.
The latest push is to have a three-year pilot program of extended hours, with the summer hours extended for a longer period in some years in the last half a decade. The supporters say having a guaranteed year-round extension of the hours would give a better indication of the impact of having longer hours.
Vandeberg said she has not heard that the period of summer hours will be extended this year, and the summer hours apparently will start May 15.