Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - The Montana Department of Transportation is taking advantage of a short summer season to get as much work done on western Montana’s highways as is humanly possible.

KGVO News spoke to John Schmidt, Missoula District Construction Engineer with the Montana Department of Transportation about the many projects getting underway this summer throughout western Montana.

Better Get Ready for Summer Road Construction Season

“Around the Missoula area, the biggest projects are going to be a bridge rehab that we've got going on west of Missoula on I-90,” began Schmidt. “That's to re-deck one of the old steel structures that's out there over the Clark Fork River; and then east of Missoula on Interstate 90 from Bonner pretty much all the way to Drummond we're going to be doing some pavement preservation work that involves chip sealing and some bridge Deck sealing to try and keep those roads good on Interstate 90 east of Missoula.”

Schmidt said several other projects will be underway as well.

“On Montana 1 around Hall we're going to be doing some pavement preservation work there also that involves smoothing out the road in spots and then chip sealing for about 15 miles,” he said. “We have a project at Salmon Lake on Montana 83, and that is a total reconstruct of the road around Salmon Lake for about four miles. So that's a pretty big impact for those people traveling north or south on that road. People should definitely expect some delays there.”

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There are Construction Projects to the North, South East and West

Road construction will be inescapable no matter which direction you travel this summer.

“North of Missoula on U.S. 93 we're working at the north of Ronan actually for about a mile, converting that into a four-lane highway to tie into the rest of the four-lane highway, about a mile north of Ronan,” he said. “We have a pavement preservation job that's happening in Thompson Falls right through town that'll come with some sidewalk ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) work and we'll be detouring some of the pedestrians there to try and keep them safe during the sidewalk work.”

It will be busy and crowded for those who travel south of Missoula, as well.

MDT asks that all Drivers Slow Down and Use Caution in Construction Zones

“South of Missoula on U.S. 93 we have a pavement preservation job that's going to be a chip seal on Bear Creek Road. So that'll be happening and it'll be big impact but low duration. So we'll be there for about five days probably and then we'll be gone. With our maintenance folks, we are going to do some pavement preservation work at Bonner for about eight miles and trying to improve the roadway surface there that is going to involve some ADA work, so not only will vehicular traffic be impacted, but there'll be some minor impacts to pedestrian traffic there, as well.”

Schmidt and the Montana Department of Transportation ask drivers to be patient and slow down in construction zones to protect the lives of highway department workers this summer.

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