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Steps taken to approve Eureka signs

| September 1, 2004 12:00 AM

By Roger Morris, Western News Publisher

Preliminary steps to construct two more Kootenai River Country gateway signs have been completed, this time for the signs welcoming visitors to the north end of the county.

Sites were visited and identified for state highway officials and the sign committee is waiting to hear back from the Montana Department of Transportation, said Debi Davidson of the Kootenai River Development Council.

The Eureka sign on U.S. Highway 93 will be north of the city next to the chainsaw carving of a logger. Davidson said there is room at the site for the gateway sign and carving as well as a information kiosk. The sign will welcome visitors coming from the Canadian border crossing at Roosville.

Also, the Dickey Lake sign location, at about mile marker 161, is where the four-lane highway begins south and east of Eureka on Highway 93. Presently there is a wide-out on the side of the road where the snowplows turn around, Davidson said. Again there is room for the gateway sign and an information kiosk.

The sites were visited by sign committee members, Joann Rachelle and Tracy McIntire, Lincoln County Commissioner Marianne Roose and Rick Sipe, the state highway maintenance supervisor out of Kalispell.

Davidson said Sipe didn¹t see any problems with the two identified sites. But he is working on getting approval from Glen Cameron, the traffic engineer for the Missoula District.

³The kiosk near Eureka is very important for people coming across the border,² Davidson said. ³Eureka is working on their river walk project and would like to tie it in together.²

The state has already approved a location for the Troy-Yaak gateway sign on U.S. Highway 2 at the top of Yaak Hill and the sign along Montana Highway 56 just inside the county at the south end of Bull Lake.

Construction of the Troy sign is awaiting site preparation by county road crews.

The sign project grew out of the ³Dream It, Do It² economic development workshop held in April 2003. During a follow-up meeting, the name Kootenai River Country was selected as a ³brand name² to market the area to tourists.

The signs feature big stone-like structures with a leaning log and the words ³Welcome to Kootenai River Country.² There will also be a sculpture of wildlife or other things identifiable with the five areas in which sign will be located. Also, there will be a welcome to those areas such as Chain of Lakes or Tobacco Valley.

The fifth sign will be tentatively located on U.S. 2 overlooking Middle Thompson Lake.