Van Buren interchange may be completed ahead of schedule

Posted at 4:08 PM, Jul 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-27 18:08:52-04

MISSOULA – There’s good news for Missoula residents: the Van Buren interchange might be completed earlier than expected.

A new soft completion date has been set for August 13, just in time for the Pearl Jam concert at Washington Grizzly stadium.

Some construction and traffic interruptions are still expected after the August 13 date, but officials say it will be minimal.

The new completion date is due to an increased output from construction crews and language in their contract that incentivizes an early completion.

"The whole premise of this job, and the way that we laid out the timeline, it was an accelerated project because we wanted to minimize disruption to the traffic on the interstate, on the ramps and specifically on Van Buren Street," said MDT operations engineer Donny Pfeifer. "So we put some incentive/dis-incentive language into the contract to get the contractor to complete the contract as quickly as possible. And they have really delivered here."

This new date is not set in stone, and any sort of severe weather or other unknown problem that arises could set the project date back to the end of August.