HELENA — The Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) will soon begin construction that is aimed at alleviating traffic on one of Helena Valley’s busiest intersections.
Six miles north of Helena, Lincoln Road is going to get two roundabouts and ramp improvements, which MDT Engineering Project Manager Camaree Uljua says will provide more efficient travel.
“The Lincoln Road, Montana to I-15 project’s main goal to reduce congestion and improve traffic flow and safety along Lincoln Road and interstate 15,” said Uljua.
The plan includes turning the 4-way stop at Montana Avenue and Lincoln Road into a single lane round-a-bout as well as a right turn by-pass lane for westbound traffic to turn off Lincoln Road onto Montana Avenue.
They're also planning a single lane round-about on the I-15 northbound off-ramp with a westbound right-turn bypass lane
Additional improvements to the southbound on-ramp include an additional lane and westbound left turn lane, which Uljua says drivers in the area should remain patient as work begins in April.
“There are going to be delays we cannot mitigate that 100 percent, but we do ask people to slow down, be aware of the work zone, keep an eye out for workers in the work zone and other traffic in the work zone. Be patient with us because they will see the improvements that are put in place will be a huge improvement to the area,” said Uljua.
The construction on Lincoln road between Montana Ave and I-15 is set to start in early April and be completed by fall.
One business in the area is concerned that during their busiest times of the year, the construction project may cause issues, but once completed Lari Sussex, manager of the Grubstake says it will benefit the community.
“While they're doing the construction phase it will impact us negatively of course, but I think once it’s done it will be better for the Valley to have access easier and a lot more fluid because it does take a while to get out of here without that roundabout so I think it will be good in the long run but at first it will be negative,” said Sussex.
Sussex says despite the hassle of waiting through construction, the business will continue to be a Helena Valley favorite.
“We are very confident people will return and we are confident, we have a lot of local regulars that we really love and appreciate, and we are really confident that they will keep coming even though they may have to wait a bit,” said Sussex.
The Montana Department of Transportation will be holding a virtual open house on Thursday, March 31.