MISSOULA – Montana Department of Transportation officials are confident the Van Buren interchange project should be complete within a matter of weeks.
The project to re-work the freeway interchange — and add two roundabouts — is now in its second construction season. But the plan all along was to do the bulk of the construction in the first summer and then spend the second finishing the project.
MDT Missoula District Administrator Bob Vosen says with the chip sealing this week, contractors will be finishing up the main work to the pavement.
“The last thing will be the final striping. It will take place after the chip seal. We’ll come in and stripe it,” Vosen said.
“And then we use a waterborne paint, it’s a lower cost paint. We try to get 35-to-45 days out of that paint before we put down our epoxy paint at the end,” he added.
The chip sealing will start Wednesday, and weather permitting, will be wrapped up in a few days.
The attention will then focus on finishing up the landscaping, signing and connecting up all the sidewalks and trail connections throughout the project.
Vosen says MDT is asking for the public’s patience while the final additions are completed.
But he says when it’s finished, what has been a very complex project, will provide a safe way to handle the increasing amount of traffic for years to come.
“It’s an exciting project to have completed. It’s the first one of its type in Montana, to have the roundabouts at the bottom of both exit ramps like we do,” Vosen told MTN News.
“It’s great to provide such an improved traffic flow and safety. Those roundabouts are a great safety feature for the traveling public.”
Vosen says the project to improve disability access to intersections along East Broadway will also help to improve pedestrian safety at that end of downtown Missoula.
Click here to view the latest on the Van Buren Street project.