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Victor Struggles Through Construction

machine
Dig a hole, fill it in. (KLYQ Photo)

Victor has been dealing with major road construction on US 93 for over two years. Though the transformation of the Bitterroot’s main highway from 2-lanes to four has been a decades-long project, the Victor area has been especially hard hit.
Most other stops along the road have had “back doors” – another major road which could bring people to the area businesses. Mainly, that’s been the East Side Highway. Well, Victor’s main business area is on the other side of US 93 from that route and even after you get to Victor, it’s been hard to get to Main Street, since roadwork on turn lanes and controlled accesses have been tearing up the adjacent streets.
Then, there’s the remaining US 93 4-lane project, which extends another 6 miles or so south of Victor – linking up with the four-lane at Sheafman Creek. That includes a number of bridges, which aren’t done in a day, either.
Add the rumbling from the giant earthmoving machines and the historic brick buildings on Victor’s Main Street are shaking, along with their proprietors and customers.
The Ravalli County Economic Development Agency has started working with business owners and has developed an action list they’d like to discuss with the Montana Department of Transportation, the agency that let the bids. Issues range from sudden closures of parking lots to disappearing business access.
A main problem is communication. Rumors have sprung up as fast as the latest crop of leafy spurge. To combat that, the EDA officials would like to set up a regular informational dialog between the area residents and the contractors or the MDT to get an update on road progress and weekly and daily activities.
And maybe the state could throw in some more signs to let people know that the town of Victor is “Open for business.”
KLYQ Radio will be attempting to get more information out to the public on a daily basis on the project – parts of which might even be paved soon, according to some folks. Oops – there’s another crop of leafy spurge.

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