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Closed Nixon Gulch Road causing headache for Manhattan residents

Posted at 3:37 PM, May 31, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-31 18:38:34-04

MANHATTAN – A closed road just north of Manhattan is becoming a pain for those trying to get around it.

The developers behind Pioneer Crossing, a housing development just outside of Manhattan, have been working on Nixon Gulch Road for about three weeks and it is starting to cause some concern for those living nearby.

Big orange closed signs blockade about 2,000 feet of Nixon Gulch Road.

That’s enough to cause some headache for those who use it every day, like attorney James Greenbaum, who also lives in Gallatin River Ranch near the road closure.

“If it’s bouncing my truck around, I can only imagine what it’s doing to people driving just ordinary vehicles,” he said.

“There’s a tremendous amount of traffic that uses Nixon Road and Nixon Gulch Bridge,” Greenbaum said. “It’s a very important thoroughfare for obviously just for the residents, the commercial traffic, the contractors.”

But Greenbaum said the buck stopped with the bigger orange detour signs.

“We were told it was going to be two to three weeks,” Greenbaum said. “That’s what was shown on the Manhattan website, Manhattan town website. We’re detoured onto a really beat up road that goes through a cow pasture with no improvements, whatsoever.”

On Memorial Day, there seemed to be no work, at all.

“I guess the straw that broke the camel’s back, in my mind, because there were no trucks, no workers whatsoever and the road was still closed,” Greenbaum said.

“It’s the town’s road but Pioneer Crossing is doing all of the work on the road, including the detours and everything,” said Glen Clements, Manhattan mayor.

Clements added Pioneer Crossing’s project, while lengthy, will bring some much-needed improvement.

“They’re significant improvements along Nixon Gulch Road as far as storm drainage and safety, having that curb and gutter, so we are going to have a better product in the end,” Clements said.

Mayor Clements does say that while normal traffic that relies on Nixon Gulch will have to be rerouted to a lesser used road, it won’t last long.

“I know there is some frustration out there but, in the end, Nixon Gulch Road is going to see a lot of improvement and then also, we are kind of getting a freebie with Greenspur Road improved and built up to standards,” Clements said.

After receiving emails from Greenbaum, Clements said change is coming, including work to the detour route, Greenspur Road.

That was done Thursday, something Greenbaum and others noticed, and not only that.

“He has agreed to move forward in a very positive direction,” Greenbaum said. “We’re very pleased to know that they are actually going to or consider an ordinance for dealing with this in the future.”

“Manhattan is going to follow suit and try to implement their own official policy,” Clements said. “We’re going to be discussing what to do in the future with situations like this. The town of Manhattan doesn’t really have a road closed permit process officially in our ordinances.”

The mayor said that ordinance will come up at the next town meeting which will be at 7 p.m. on June 12.

The project is expected to be done in two weeks.

Reporting by Cody Boyer for MTN News