Thornton interchange

A photo of the Thronton Interchange.

MADISON COUNTY − The county plans to take over some roads and easements currently owned by the state and create another frontage road on the east side of Highway 20. The county is still working on the frontage road on the west side of Highway 20 near Yellowstone Bear World that will lead up to Madison High School.

Madison County Road and Bridge Supervisor Cindy Roberson said the road would start at 6800 South and head south towards Smith Road which connects to the Thornton Interchange.

Commissioner Todd Smith said that the road could be a little over two miles.

“From 6800 where the state closed the road there by the river all the way back into Thornton they (the state) had some property right of ways,” Roberson said.

Roberson said they owned some road and they’re trying to clean up all the assets, specifically the road and easements, from building the freeway. Roberson said they wanted to give it back to the county and the county wants it.

“We would put a frontage road back there,” Roberson said.

The state has also agreed to pay for the construction of two bridges that would go over the Liberty Park Canal and the Bannock Jim Slough Canal, the same two canals the County built bridges over on the west side of Highway 20 for the other frontage road.

Commissioner Bret Mendenhall said the frontage road on the west side had economic growth pushing it, what is pushing this road?

Commissioner Jon Weber and Smith said the reasons were similar. He said there are several families and interested parties surrounding the road that would have interest in a new frontage road on the east side.

Roberson said they are currently working with property owners on donating the land needed. She said so far several have agreed.

“The thing that spurred it (a new frontage road) was the Wilcox that own the potato plant,” Roberson said. “Their son-in-laws and daughters wanted to build a home back there but the state wouldn’t allow them access to the right of way road.”

Roberson said they will try and make the frontage road as close to Highway 20 as they can.

Smith said it will take a few years to gather the necessary funding but that acquiring the easements now would be good for the future.

Roberson said that they’ll apply for a grant from the Local Highway Technical Assistance Council to pay for the road. And the bridges will be paid for by the state.

Roberson said the state has been wonderful. She said they’ve been great to work with and have been very helpful.

To contact Victoria email her at or call her at 208.356.5441. at extension 13.