Construction begins on one of Montana’s most dangerous stretches of highway | Regional

STEVENSVILLE – The Montana Department of transportation is starting the first phase of construction on one of the most dangerous stretches of highway in the state. 

The first phase of construction will start on the Eastside Highway, Highway 269, as part of the Stevensville Safety Improvement Project. Traffic will be down to one lane as crews will be out surveying underground utilities south of Bell Crossing at Willoughy Creek and Web Foot Ditch.

While crews are working drivers are urged to use caution and be aware of changing conditions.

“We are looking forward to getting this project up and running” John Schmidt, MDT Missoula District Construction Engineer, said. “This stretch of Highway 269 is one of the most dangerous highway sections in our state and MDT is ready to make the safety improvements necessary to keep our neighbors safe.”

From 2003 to 2017, there were over 400 collisions, six fatalities and over 20 serious injuries. To improve this area, MDT plans to widen the existing roadway to include four foot shoulders, adding a new flashing signal at Bell Crossing, and realigning Willoughby Lane to better facilitate safe travel at the intersection.

Full roadway construction for Stevensville Safety Improvements project is slated to begin in the spring of 2021 with the possibility of intermittent lane closures occurring this fall. Construction will begin just north of the intersection of North Birch Creek Road and the Eastside Highway and will extend 5.9 miles north to the Pine Hollow Road intersection.

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