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Butte to install new traffic light for proposed plaza bringing in national shops

Posted at 7:28 PM, Jan 29, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-30 12:15:26-05

BUTTE — A traffic signal will be installed at a section of Harrison Avenue to direct traffic to the entryway of a proposed plaza that is being built right here that will bring at least 11 nationally known stores to Butte.

“Being able to allow traffic to flow into that site, a traffic light was critical to the success of the project and getting these businesses to sign on,” said Butte Chief Executive J.P. Gallagher.

New York developer Dave Leon purchased 17 acres off South Harrison Avenue to build the plaza and has confirmed one of the businesses will be a Planet Fitness. The other businesses have not been announced yet.

Gallagher said Butte worked with the Montana Department of Transportation in getting the light approved.

“Without a traffic light there, and if you tried to get that flow into that development, it could cause more issues than not having that light there,” said Gallagher.

The signal will cross Harrison near the Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Butte Commissioner Jim Fisher, who runs a used car business near the proposed site of the signal, said he supports the plan.

“I think a stop light’s needed. It will probably work good. I hope it synchronizes with the one at Walmart so we don’t have traffic backed up for hours,” said Fisher.

Economic leaders are excited to have a plaza with well-known stores in town.

“We think that some of the neighboring communities that drive maybe to Missoula or Bozeman or Helena will now come to Butte to do some of their shopping,” said Gallagher.

Some say growth is good if it’s managed properly.

“You know, we want Butte to grow, but we want it to grow at a pace where we can do the infrastructure, make it all right, you know, we don’t want to be a cluster like some areas of Montana have become,” said Fisher.