Billings, MT

Officials Prepare to Mitigate Anticipated Drive-Thru Queue As Chick-Fil-A Set to Open In Billings


Billings city engineers are going to have organized plans before things get going. 

In a matter of days, the people’s favorite fast-food restaurant will open its first location in Billings. Officials have confirmed the date of the opening to be January 19. 

Fans of the brand presumably can't wait for that day to arrive so they can start to enjoy their favorite meal from the giant brand. Considering the popularity of Chick-Fil-A, which is going to attract more people to the area, officials are working round the clock to avert traffic issues in the area. 

Chick-fil-A is situated in an area called the Marketplace, between Applebees and Planet Fitness near the intersection of 24th Street West and Rosebud Drive.

Right from when the officials confirmed that the popular fast food chain restaurant is on track to open in early 2023, Billings city engineers began to prepare for the surge of traffic that will come with it.

Part of the plans includes asking Chick-fil-A to hire a traffic engineer to look at light timing cycles up and down 24th and King and to be prepared to hire off-duty police officers to control traffic.

“I think we want an organized plan before things get going," says Billings City Engineer Mac Fogelson.

Fogelson says the city is already working on a multi-point Chick-fil-A plan that includes adding a left-hand turn lane for northbound 24th Street West in the business park.

"There’s human behavior involved, so if things don’t go exactly perfect, okay, that’s something we anticipate could happen and we pull lever number one or lever number two, and it's like dominos falling in an orderly fashion.”

Fogelson said they put together a similar traffic plan when the Sonic restaurant opened on Main Street in the Heights about a decade ago.

In anticipation of long lines on the first day, two off-duty officers will be stationed at different locations to help the queue flow and to make sure that nearby businesses are not impacted. 

Additionally, Signs will be posted to lead people through the queue. Those that would want to enter the Dining will bypass the queue for the drive-thru and take a left to go north towards the Chick-Fil-A. 

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