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Possible traffic evaluation and speed study on part of Canyon Ferry Road after fatal accident

Canyon Ferry Road.jpg
Posted at 5:42 PM, Jun 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-17 19:46:33-04

HELENA — A recent accident resulting in a fatality on Canyon Ferry Road, and complaints from citizens, have prompted the Lewis and Clark County Commissioners to consider asking the Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) to study the area.

“As we grow, we require some slower speeds as we have these larger subdivisions out here in the East Valley. What happened a week or two ago was clearly a tragedy with high speeds of 60 miles an hour in a residential area, people trying to turn, make a turn into their homes,” says Lewis and Clark County Sheriff, Leo Dutton.

On the afternoon of June 9th, a woman in a pickup truck heading west on Canyon Ferry Road, swerved into the shoulder to avoid hitting the car in front of her that was turning to the right. This resulted in her hitting and killing a 10-year-old girl on the shoulder.

The letter, drafted by Lewis and Clark County Public works, would request the Montana Department of Transportation to conduct a traffic evaluation and speed study of the area between the intersection of Canyon Ferry Road and Lake Helena Drive, heading east up the hill to Hart Lane.

With the recent growth in residential housing and new subdivisions, the area has seen an increase in the use of the intersecting roads leading to new housing.

“As communities change and grow and develop over time, so do our road structures and infrastructure. And so, as there's urban growth and Urban Development we need to stop and reevaluate what might be needed based upon changes in the structure of the community,” says Public Works Director for Lewis and Clark County, Jenny Chambers.

The potential request would also ask MDT to look at making improvements to the area such as two-way left-turn lanes and deceleration lanes.

The commissioners will meet on Tuesday, June 21 to formally decide on whether to send the letter requesting the study.