The Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) has begun reconstruction work on Jackrabbit Lane/Highway 85. With rapidly increasing growth in the Gallatin Valley, the Montana Department of Transportation recognized that Jackrabbit Lane needed increased capacity to serve the needs of the Bozeman and Belgrade communities. Work started in September of 2017 to deliver a safer and more efficient roadway.
We recognize the impacts of construction on businesses, residents and travelers and are committed to mitigating those challenges by delivering practical, timely information. As such, we hope to share important updates and resources available to you as we move forward with summer construction.
Work on Jackrabbit Lane will include safer approaches, signalized intersections, additional vehicle travel lanes, shared-use path additions and better drainage. As a connection point uniquely situated between Belgrade and Bozeman, and as the gateway to Yellowstone National Park, modernizing this roadway and ensuring it meets standards to accommodate volume is important for the safety of all roadway users and the economic development of the area.
Upon completion, Jackrabbit Lane will increase from two to five lanes. New lighted signals will be installed at the intersections of Frank Road and Jackrabbit Lane and Cameron Bridge and Jackrabbit Lane. A paved shared-use path will also extend along the east side of the roadway for cyclists and pedestrians.
Of particular importance, traffic will be re-routed around workers on Jackrabbit Lane starting in June. Traffic has been maintained on the west side of the roadway. Once the east side of Jackrabbit Lane has been paved, at the end of June, traffic will be re-routed to utilize the east side of the roadway. At that time, drivers will be traveling on the west side of the road. Slower speeds will be in effect and drivers are encouraged to plan extra time or to use an alternate route. This also means that residents with driveways on the west side of Jackrabbit Lane may experience additional delays pulling on to the road.
Please take care traveling through the area, as traffic control devices are in place to keep you and workers safe. If traveling through the 2.5-mile project area, delays of up to 15-minute should be expected. Flaggers will be in place to control traffic flow and business access as reconstruction occurs throughout the next several months. The speed limit has been reduced from 70 MPH to 55 MPH and will be 35 MPH in the affected work zones.
The project is anticipated to be completed in October of 2018, dependent upon weather and construction conditions. The $9.3 million project will be fully completed in the spring of 2019 after a final chip-seal can be applied to the reconstructed roadway when warmer weather allows the material to successfully cure.
We know construction creates inconveniences and the Montana Department of Transportation appreciates understanding and patience as we work to complete this investment.
As work continues, the Montana Department of Transportation will be sharing regular updates to ease this transition. The public is encouraged to receive regular updates about the Belgrade South project, by sending a request to Katie Listen for radio updates on XL Country (100.7 FM), The Moose (95.1 FM, My (103.5 FM), KISS FM (96.7 FM), and K-SKY Country (106.9 FM).
SMS text message alerts are also available by texting BELGRADESOUTH to 41411.*