MISSOULA — Traffic on U.S. Highway 93 north from Missoula will move a little slower this summer as the Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) widens and rebuilds the road.
Matt Straub, the project engineer with MDT, said the agency has two projects planned in the area, including pavement preservation work from the junction of Interstate 90 north for one mile on Highway 93.
“They have some minor mill-and-fill that will go on there, and they’ll resurface with a chip seal topped off with some striping and rumble strips,” Straub said. “Our overall impact isn’t going to be as great as the second portion.”
The second portion begins where Frenchtown frontage road intersects with Highway 93 and runs north to the base of Evaro Hill.
Straub said that project will remove the current highway and replace it with a wider road, including a center turn lane with designated right-hand turn lanes in key areas.
“It’ll be a joint-use center turn lane that runs down the length of the project,” he said. “We’ll have our 14-foot turn lane in the middle, two travel lanes going northbound and a 10-foot median to separate the right-hand turn lanes from traffic.”
Straub said the work is slated to begin this month and close later this year. He estimated the cost at around $4.5 million and said traffic would be slowed.
“We’ll run it like a phased reconstruct,” he said. “We’ll build half the road at a time and swap traffic over to the side we built and then attack the other side.”