Important road

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

To the editor,

A recent Tribune article referencing State Highway 324 was wrong. The route, Clark Canyon Dam through Bannack Pass to Idaho, provides significant access. It would get a lot more traffic if the Montana side wasn’t so bad. There’s 16 miles of unpaved surface going through to Leadore, Idaho. The Idaho side is well cared for with new gravel surfacing. The Montana side is, at best, an embarrassment, with boulder and “frost heave” surfacing.

I’m sure all of those using the route have had occasion to help others who have flat tires and no cell service. The road condition represents a special hazard to “outsiders,” using GPS routing to reach Idaho’s Salmon River country. I have actually used the route to access Idaho when Monida Pass is closed by blowing snow in the winter. The road is there and it will be used.

Again, the route would experience more use if it was surfaced, and not just by Idaho folk coming to Dillon to purchase equipment and other supplies without having to pay sales tax.

Surfacing the unpaved section is important and long overdue. Let’s get it done.

Dan Pence


Editor’s note: The HWY 324 story, regarding public comment at a commission meeting has been reprinted on page 9 this week due to an error last week in which the “continued to” portion, or jump, was not published.