GREAT FALLS — Seven miles of US Highway 87 just north of Great Falls are about to become wider to handle increasing traffic volumes.
After wrapping up preliminary construction last winter, the Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) announced that Schellinger Construction crews will return on March 22, weather permitting, to resume work between Dent Bridge Road and Great Bear Avenue.
The project will bring passing and turn lanes throughout the seven-mile construction limits. These lanes will be added intermittently throughout the construction schedule until crews finish in November.
Last fall, the highway’s embankment, or foundation soil, was unloaded onto the sides of the road and left to settle. Now crews will use that foundation to "create a wider and more convenient travel experience for Great Falls residents and visitors," according to MDT.
“We know the start of the construction season can often be frustrating to the community,” said Jim Wingerter, Great Falls District Administrator, in a news release. “Our team is committed to increasing both safety and traffic flow in the area while maintaining as few disruptions as possible.”
The majority of work will be completed this year before winter arrives. Crews will return temporarily in the spring of 2022 to complete the project’s final touches: painting and chip sealing the road. Travelers should anticipate delays when traveling this stretch of highway.