Billings, Montana Roadways

Welcome to Billings, Montana’s Hub City! As Montana’s largest city with over 110,000 residents, Billings serves as a major transportation hub for the region.

This guide will provide an overview of Billings’ vast network of roadways, from major interstates and arterial roads to scenic byways showcasing Big Sky Country’s natural beauty.

Major Interstates and Highways

I-90

Interstate 90 is Billings’ main east-west highway connection. I-90 stretches from Seattle to Boston, linking Billings to major destinations like Bozeman, Butte, and Missoula in Montana and Wyoming hubs like Sheridan and Buffalo.

Within Billings, I-90 intersects with I-94 and provides access to downtown via Exits 446 through 457. Key I-90 interchanges connect drivers to Billings Logan International Airport as well as popular shopping at Rimrock Mall.

I-94

Interstate 94 enters Billings from the east, merging with I-90 in downtown Billings near MetraPark. I-94 provides a key route to eastern Montana towns like Miles City, Glendive, and Bismarck and Fargo in North Dakota.

In addition to the downtown merge with I-90, key I-94 interchanges within city limits include Shiloh Road and King Avenue, providing access to residential neighborhoods and businesses.

Highway 87

U.S. Highway 87, also known as the Judith Gap Highway, brings travelers from Central Montana into Billings from the north. Highway 87 merges with I-90 east of downtown Billings and also intersects with Main Street, allowing access to downtown.

Drivers can follow Highway 87 south from Billings towards rural towns like Roundup, Musselshell, and Judith Gap. This scenic highway passes through classic Big Sky Country ranchlands.

Arterial Streets and Roads

Billings’ busiest surface streets help residents crisscross between neighborhoods and provide alternate routes when the interstates get congested. Here are some key arterials to know:

Grand Avenue

Grand Avenue stretches from downtown to the Heights and Billings West End, paralleling I-90 for much of its length. Key intersections along Grand Avenue include Broadwater Avenue and 32nd Street West by Rocky Mountain College. Grand Avenue offers drivers easy access to restaurants, shops, hospitals, and clinics.

Main Street

Billings’ Main Street runs from the historic downtown core through the North Park neighborhood. Key intersections include 6th Avenue North and Montana Avenue, which leads directly to the iconic Rimrocks defining Billings’ skyline. Main Street offers walkable access to downtown activities.

Mullowney Lane

Mullowney Lane is a central east-west thoroughfare through the center of Billings, connecting the West End to Lockwood and points east via Highway 87. Key intersections include 32nd Street West and 5th Street West. Mullowney Lane provides access to Billings’ Heights and South Side neighborhoods.

Shiloh Road

Shiloh Road is an important diagonal connector road between downtown Billings and Shiloh Crossing, one of Montana’s largest shopping districts. Key intersections include Grand Avenue and King Avenue East as well as Zoo Drive, which leads to ZooMontana.

Scenic Byways

Looking to cruise Montana’s renowned Big Sky scenery? Try these scenic drives around Billings:

Red Lodge-Bearcreek Road (Highway 308)

This 60-mile route traverses paradise valley then climbs into the rugged Beartooth Mountains via Highway 308. Take in alpine splendor and panoramic vistas as you drive past Rock Creek Vista Point and into Red Lodge, Montana.

Yellowstone Trail (Highway 3)

Following portions of the original Yellowstone Trail highway system, this scenic drive heads north from Billings through the Crow Reservation and towards historic Pompeys Pillar National Monument, home of William Clark’s engraved signature. Continue north to explore rural small towns like Hardin and Custer.

Pictograph Caves Road

This quick 5-mile scenic drive from Billings offers unique views of Signature Cliff and Huntley Valley. Stop at Pictograph Cave State Park to view prehistoric cave art and hike skyline trails with views of the Yellowstone River Valley.

Getting Around Billings

Billings boasts an easy-to-navigate street grid system. Major streets run north-south and avenues run east-west. Here are some key tips for navigating Billings by car:

Addresses

  • Streets ascend in number heading north from downtown and avenues ascend heading west.
  • Address numbers also ascend heading north and west. For example, 320 North 20th Street West indicates a location north and west from downtown Billings.

Downtown Navigation

  • Historic districts like the Billings Depot, Alberta Bair Theater, and the Parmly Billings Library cluster downtown between North Broadway and 6th Avenue North.
  • First-time visitors should park in one of several public parking garages for easy walking access.
  • Directional street couplets help one-way traffic flow smoothly. For example, Broadway becomes 4th Avenue North heading east.

Public Transportation

Getting around Billings without a car? Use MET Transit! Key routes include:

  • Skyline: Travels Grand Avenue from Billings Heights to downtown
  • Main Street: Connects downtown to the medical corridor via Main Street
  • Montana State University Billings: Links campus to downtown and the Heights
  • West End: Connects downtown to the West End via Grand Avenue

So there you have it – a comprehensive overview of navigating Billings by road! Whether you’re cruising down I-90 headed east to Sheridan or taking a scenic drive into the Beartooth Mountains, this guide provides the key routes you’ll need to know. Let the adventures begin!

Getting Around Billings Without a Car

Billings offers excellent alternative transportation options like bike paths, buses, and ride sharing services to explore the city without a car:

Bicycling

Billings boasts over 50 miles of bike routes, lanes, and trails perfect for cruising around the city. Key cycling routes include:

Heights Bike Network: This system features lanes and signs to safely bike through the Heights to downtown. Routes follow Central Avenue, Alkali Creek Road, and Poly Drive.

Swords Park Trails: Paved trails surround lush Swords Park and offer a scenic ride minutes from downtown. Connectors link the park to the airport bike path.

The Rims: Expert mountain bikers can ride the infamous Double Dare route along the Rims. This technical trail starts at Phipps Park and rewards riders with stunning rimtop views.

Several bike rental companies like Trek Bicycle Store, Base Camp, and Triple Tree offer bike rentals perfect for leisurely rides through town.

MET Transit Bus System

Billings’ MET Transit bus system makes exploring town easy and affordable without a car. Key features include:

  • 11 Fixed Routes: Major routes like Main Street, Skyline, and Grand Avenue link popular destinations.
  • Paratransit: On-demand MINI-BUSES provide curb-to-curb service for people with disabilities.
  • Reduced Fares: Discounted rates for seniors, students, children, and riders with disabilities make riding affordable.
  • Bike Racks: Buses feature bike racks to further extend your travel range.

Ridesharing Services

Services like Lyft and Uber provide an affordable way to travel around Billings without a car. Average fares start around $5-10 for trips within city limits. Airport rides average $15-25. Through smartphone apps you can easily summon a driver within minutes.

Roadway Development Projects

Several major road projects aim to reduce Billings’ traffic congestion and improve safety in coming years:

1. I-90 Billings Bypass

This proposed project would create a commercial bypass route for through-traffic to divert trucks from downtown’s busy roadways. The project remains in initial planning phases pending approval and funding.

2.Shiloh Road Repair Project

Ongoing through 2024, this $13 million project will fully reconstruct and widen Shiloh Road from 2 to 5 lanes including a center turn lane between King Avenue and Central Avenue to improve traffic flow.

3. Grand Avenue Reconstruction

Planned for 2025, the aging and accident-prone stretch of Grand Avenue from 20th Street West to 32nd Street West will undergo modernization including repaving, intersection realignments, and the addition of bike lanes and safer pedestrian crossings.

4. Five Mile Road Passing Lanes

Funded for 2026, two additional passing lane stretches will be added on Five Mile Road near the Logan International Airport to improve traffic flow and driving safety as commercial development continues in the area.

So buckle up and cruise Billings’ roadways however you choose – by car, bike, bus or just your own two feet! This transport hub offers scenic Montana routes, urban connectivity, and development projects that will keep you moving today and well into the future.

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Directions

  • Start out going northwest on Main St toward N 28th St. Take the 1st right onto N 28th St. Turn right onto Grand Ave, then quickly turn left to merge onto I-90 W toward Sheridan. Follow I-90 W for approximately 70 miles, then take exit 442 for Blue Creek Rd toward Billings. Turn right onto Blue Creek Rd and the destination will be on your right after about 0.3 miles.
  • Head west on Main St toward N 29th St. Turn right onto N 29th St, followed by a slight left to merge onto I-90 W. Stay on I-90 W, driving for roughly 70 miles, before taking the Blue Creek Rd exit on the right. Take the ramp onto Blue Creek Rd and go straight for 0.3 miles until you arrive at 3910 Blue Creek Rd on your right.
  • Start by getting on I-90 W from Main St. Drive on the interstate for about 70 miles then take exit 442 to merge onto Blue Creek Rd. As soon as you exit, turn right to continue on Blue Creek Rd. 3910 Blue Creek Rd will be around 0.3 miles down the road on your right side. The travel time should be just over an hour from downtown Billings.