Reporter Dax VanFossen found out there is still plenty of work before it's all said and done, but the end really isn't that far away.
Three years from now, West Kalispell will look very different from what you see here right now. The railroad tracks will likely be gone, to be replaced by a walking path - and a a lot of the industrial companies on the west side of Kalispell will be moved over to the new rail park.
The timelines have been established, and now it's time to make a plan to make those happen. None of which would have been possible without the successful TIGER grant award brought about by staff at the city of Kalispell and Montana West Economic Development.
Kim Morisaki at Montana West says construction for Cenex Harvest States will likely begin as early as 2016 at the rail park near Whitefish Stage Road, and once they have moved, more improvements will follow.
"Provided that all goes well, CHS will be relocating out of downtown Kalispell to the rail park in 2017. And that will allow us to take the tracks out and put the trail in, in 2018," she said.
Both Montana West and the City of Kalispell tried multiple times before the TIGER grant became a reality recently. Morisaki says it's a good feeling to be moving forward and hopefully expanding the rail park.
"We're hoping to recruit other companies as well and so when you can actually give a company a set deadline of this is when it's going to be available, that makes it a lot easier to sell it," Morisaki said.
Morisaki added that much of this wouldn't be possible without a partnership with CHS. Moving forward, there are plenty of perks on the horizon for the former rail corridor.
"It's going to be amazing. The people who own property and live in that area have told the city that they want a more walkable, safer, fun environment with all kinds of mixed use and a variety of housing options for different ages and different income levels," Morisaki concluded.
She also told MTN News that the city planning department, the Kalispell City Council and others are now tasked with putting together the various aspects for redevelopment in the West Kalispell corridor.