Billings' new bypass affects residents living nearby - | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

Billings' new bypass affects residents living nearby

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The Montana Department of Transportation will be starting construction of the Billings bypass as soon as summer of 2019. The new arterial roadway will connect Lockwood and the Billings Heights. The bypass will affect 13 buildings, including residential homes.  

As the first phase of construction for the Billings bypass approaches, residents near Mary street still have concerns about what's to come.

Project Manager Todd Cormier said the 5 mile road construction is expected to help with connectivity. However, some residents who live on Mary Street said it will not help their futures.

"We really have been given minimal information so what does that look like?" Hillary Gnerer, a resident on Mary Street, said. "Do they knock on our door one day and tell us 'Here is your offer and you have 30 days to get out of your house' or are we given some time to look for a new home or possibly build another home?"

The home of the Gnerer family is expected to be bull-dozed to the ground to make way for the new arterial roadway. They said they moved to the rural area because of the wide open spaces.

"It's kind of out of town, but it's still in town," Greg Gnerer said. "We have a creek, we have a well that we don't have to haul water or anything. The kids get to use the property you know as they want to."

Other homes will be affected by the plan to create a bypass. The Cathey family said one-third of their property will be taken over that will extend to the end of their walkway. One resident said he supports the bypass as long as everyone is compensated. A big issue with many of the nearby residents is the feeling of being held hostage.

"You can't go look for a new home. You can't start looking for even buying a piece of land to build a new home because that process takes a year and we don't know how much time we have."

The Gnerer family said other residents whose homes will not be destroyed will have their property values drop due to the bypass.

KULR-8 reached out to the Montana Department of Transportation to get any update regarding this Billings bypass and they said we're still waiting to hear back from them.

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