Tim Leeds/Havre Daily News/[email protected]
The Havre City Council agreed Tuesday to make one block of First Street one-way when the Montana Department of Transportation installs a traffic light at the corner of First Street and 14th Avenue.
First Street will be one-way eastbound between 14th and 15th avenues.
Mick Johnson, administrator at the MDT Great Falls District Office, said today that the traffic and shape of the intersection warrant installing the light, which should be operational next fall.
"It's because of the amount of traffic that's right there and the congestion and confusion," he said.
MDT conducted traffic studies on the intersection to determine the need, Johnson said.
Bill Dritshulas, who owns several businesses near the intersection of First Street and 14th Avenue, said the installation of the light will be "tremendous, because people can't cross."
Dave Peterson, Havre's director of public works, also said First Street is difficult for pedestrians to cross.
"It's tough for those people driving from the east (on U.S. Highway 2) to see pedestrians crossing there," he said.
It is also a problem for traffic because of the angled intersection of three busy routes, Dritshulas said.
"It could be a killer corner," he said.
Johnson said the one-way is needed because First Street and 14th Avenue intersect with U.S. Highway 2 at an angle, creating some confusion. Highway 2 and First Street are the same road until they reach 14th Avenue, where Highway 2 continues in a northeasterly direction and First Street heads east.
"To make the intersection better we need the one-way," Johnson said.
Peterson said people driving toward the intersection from the east on First Street will need to make a short detour to get to the highway.