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Bozeman city commissioners, looking to patch up gaps in the city’s transportation grid, voted Monday to spend $2.3 million in street impact fee money for several road projects, including connecting Graf Street between South 19th and South Third avenues.

The Graf Street project, which had already been allocated $1 million, received an additional $1.1 million for work to build a remaining stretch of road between 19th and Ritter Drive, two blocks west of South Third.

“That’s an important corridor for the community right now, and even more important in the future,” said Public Works Director Craig Woolard.

Graf will provide south Bozeman with another east-west connection, providing an alternative to Kagy Boulevard and Goldenstein Lane for drivers looking to get between 19th and neighborhoods along South Third.

The Graf project, Woolard said, is being done in conjunction with the Yellowstone Theological Institute development, which is helping cover some of the cost. The city will also set up a payback district, he said, requiring future development in the area to reimburse the city for approximately 40 percent of its cost.

In a commission briefing memo, Woolard also said he expects that upcoming development projects will provide money to extend 11th Avenue to Graf.

Another $402,000 was approved Monday for the design and construction for a missing section of North 27th Avenue between Oak Street and Tschache Lane in northwest Bozeman.

That work was originally planned for next year’s budget, Woolard said, but could be bumped forward because a right of way acquisition struggle has delayed a planned upgrade at the intersection of Baxter and Davis lanes.

Calling the 27th section part of a “golden triangle” of westside traffic frustrations — along with the Baxter and Davis intersection and the sudden narrowing of Oak near its intersection with New Holland Drive — Woolard said filling in that gap will provide drivers with another north-south route and allow the city to open up a complete but blocked off section of 27th north of Tschache.

Commissioners also elected Monday to spend $800,000 on acquiring a 10-acre parcel of vacant land south of Oak Street, just east of Oak’s intersection with Davis Lane. In addition to providing right of way for expanding Oak, the property will allow for an eventual stretch of Fowler Lane south toward Durston Road, Woolard said.

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Eric Dietrich can be reached at 406-582-2628 or He is on Twitter at @eidietrich.


Eric Dietrich covers city government and health for the Chronicle.

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