Response: As shown on the attached exhibits, the property is adjacent to US Hwy 89 R/W and is located between five and eight miles east/southeast of the City of Great Falls corporate limits, and traffic to/from the site will be via US 89 approximately 3.5 miles east of the Stockett Rd intersection.
The average daily traffic (ADT) near the site as measured in 2017 is 4342 vehicles per day. This count was measured on US Hwy 89, east of the Stockett Rd intersection. The traffic volume drops slightly to 4118 (2017 ADT) just west of Belt. The dairy processing facility is estimated to generate additional traffic as follows:
- Milk, liquid whey, delivery trucks, etc.: average seven (7) vehicle trips per day
- Staffing/employees: average eleven (10) vehicle trips per day
- Retail customers: average thirty (35) vehicle trips per day
The development is anticipated to generate an added 52 vehicle trips per day, a one-percent increase over the current ADT.
Peak daily traffic impacts are expected to occur just prior to and after work shifts, generating approximately ten (10) additional vehicle trips between 6:30 and 7:00 a.m. and again between 4:00 and 5:00 p.m. The majority of vehicles will likely be entering from the west and exiting to the west.
The Montana Department of Transportation will require an approach permit to connect the access roads to Hwy 89 and may require a traffic impact study (TIS) for the purpose of identifying any/all requirements for mitigating traffic impacts, including dedicated turn lanes at the proposed project approach, or the use of other mitigating measures as may be required by the review authority (Montana Department of Transportation). The TIS will be completed by a Montana-licensed professional engineer with the appropriate qualifications and experience.
If any improvements to Hwy 89 are required as a result of the TIS (turning lanes, signalization, etc.), MFP will be responsible for the cost of such improvements.
The Cascade County Zoning Regulations permit a wide range of uses in the Agricultural Zoning District, including many that generate significant amounts of traffic such as campgrounds and recreational vehicle parks, commercial dairies, power plants, and community centers. Additionally, an even wider variety of land uses which generate significant levels of traffic are allowed via a special use permit, including quarries, veterinary clinics, mobile home parks, equipment rental and sales facilities, hospitals, and many others. Therefore, the Zoning Regulations anticipate and accommodate land uses generating traffic.
The MFP facility will create an additional amount of traffic that can easily be handled by Hwy 89 without affecting its level of service. Turning movements in and out of the facility onto Hwy 89 may require some improvements to Hwy 89 consistent with development of this nature. MFP is prepared to make such improvements as may be required by the Montana Department of Transportation. The amount of traffic generated by the MFP is consistent with both permitted land uses and those allowed and anticipated by the zoning regulations and will not have a material, negative effect on traffic conditions.