Huson East Winter Work
The Huson East project will be wrapping up construction activities for the 2018 season by the end of November. Residents may continue to see excavation work and haul trucks working near the Irrigation Ditch into the winter. Beyond these efforts, cold and wet weather is not conducive to productive paving efforts. As a result, there are still outstanding sections to be paved in various areas across the 11-miles of the project. This includes private approaches and a few remaining miles of the shared-use path which will have to be paved in the spring of 2019.
The Montana Department of Transportation recognizes these inconveniences to Frenchtown residents and visitors. All efforts were taken to condense this multi-year project into a single construction season. Mother nature had other plans by providing us with early snowfall and heavy spring rains.
To ensure the area is safe for winter travel, the contractor will be placing additional gravel and millings in areas that have yet to be paved. These efforts will allow for effective snow removal operations and a graded surface for vehicles to cross. Maintenance of these areas will continue to be maintained by the contractor until fully complete next spring.
Additional work next spring will include a chip seal, final striping, and plantings, seedings, and landscaping. All outreach efforts for the project to alert area residents of pending construction will resume in the spring, as schedules are set.
Utility work on the Frenchtown Frontage Road is underway. This is the first of several critical steps in the Frenchtown Frontage Road reconstruction and the larger Huson East project.
Work is beginning this winter to meet the demands of steadily increasing traffic volume. This stretch is nearly 50 years old and is in need of safer approaches, better drainage, site distance improvements and wider shoulders. The reality is that more and more travelers use the Frontage Road and it is not up to current standards for this usage. To keep pace, the roadway is being improved to create a safer roadway for all users.
Creating a safer roadway for all also means that the shared-used path will be extended for pedestrians and cyclists to reduce the chance of a collision with vehicles. At the end of construction, the path will nearly double in length to extend the full 11 miles from Huson to Highway 93.
Please take care traveling through the area, as traffic control devices and flaggers are in place to keep you and utility workers safe. If traveling through the eleven-mile project area, multiple short closures can be expected. You may be stopped as many as three times for approximately five minutes per stop if traveling from end to end of Frenchtown Frontage Road. Drivers are encouraged to plan extra time or to use an alternate route. Traffic control will be intermittent as utilities are upgraded throughout the next several months.
Keep in mind traffic will not be delayed when traveling between 6 and 8 a.m. and between 4:30 and 6:30 p.m. These are the best times to commute through the area while lanes are open.
Montana Department of Transportation, in conjunction with Missoula County, is investing $12.3 million in safety improvements and pedestrian options.
The team at Montana Department of Transportation recognizes that construction will have an impact in your community and are committed to sharing updates to ease this transition. If you would like to receive regular updates about the Huson East project, please send a request to or call our project hotline during business hours at 406-207-4484. You can also receive SMS text message alerts by texting HUSONEAST to 41411. Project updates will be shared on this page.
We are here to help if you have questions. Help your neighbors stay in the know by sharing this information. We are committed to building to highest standard possible and creating a safer roadway for all users.