The Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) will address several miles of Interstate 90 between Missoula and Bonner this summer. Beginning at the Van Buren Street interchange and continuing to Bonner, work will include pavement preservation, barrier rail replacement, and bridge rehabilitation.
Staging and preparations for this work will begin the week of May 24. Construction will take place in sections throughout the summer. To minimize disruptions for the traveling public, much of this work will be conducted at night between the hours of 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. Although most construction will be conducted at night, many lane configuration changes will remain in place during daytime hours. Drivers are encouraged to be mindful of reduced speeds and lane changes at all times.
Weekly updates will be provided throughout construction. To sign up for weekly updates, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. For text updates, text MISSOULABONNER to 41411.
Frequently Asked Questions
Various portions of I 90 near Missoula have been under construction for the past few years. So much construction concentrated in a relatively small area can lead to misunderstandings about what kind of work is being done and why construction is necessary year after year. The following frequently asked questions and answers are aimed to address many of these concerns and misunderstandings. Not seeing what you're looking for? Please call 406-207-4484 and Big Sky Public Relations will be happy to explain our processes.
Why is I 90 under construction again? Didn't MDT just fix this road?
Each project conducted on I 90 has a different area of focus. Previous construction projects near Missoula have addressed milling and paving, bridge deck repair, and rehabilitation of steel bridge supports. Although the work may appear very similar to the traveling public, the type of equipment, crews and duration required for each project can be vastly different, requiring the work to be done in segments under various projects.
Why don't I ever see anyone working when I drive through the project?
The Missoula-Bonner & Steel Bridges Rehab projects are being conducted primarily at night. While crews may not be on-site during daytime hours, reduced speeds and lane configuration changes will remain in place. Keeping traffic control and lane reductions in place keeps drivers safe and makes the work more efficient.
Rehabilitation of the steel supports on several bridges is part of the work being completed with this project. This work occurs primarily under the bridge where crews cannot be seen from the road. For the safety of the crews, single-lane closures may be in place on the roadway above.
Why can't all of the work be completed at once?
In order to minimize impact to travelers, construction is divided into projects that can be completed in a reasonable amount of time. Availability of materials and workforce are also considered when determining the scope of a project.
Funding also plays a pivotal role in how and when construction is completed. Each project requires funding that is derived from a variety of sources. Some projects are entirely federally funded, others are paid for with state funding, and many are a combination of federal and state funds. Before a construction project can begin, funding must be identified. Once funding is secured, the project is added to the construction schedule. This is done several years before the project goes to construction.
Why is there so much work concentrated in one area?
While not ideal for travelers, construction most often needs to be completed during warm and dry weather. Since the warm months are few in Montana, MDT must complete many projects in a relatively short amount of time, resulting in several projects occurring at once and some projects being completed over multiple summers.
Occasionally, work will need to be completed on an emergency basis. Rockslides and extreme cases of erosion are examples of this. Emergency projects are addressed as quickly as possible. Sometimes the emergency work coincides with planned construction in the area. Since planned construction is scheduled years in advance, rescheduling is rarely an option, leading to emergency work and planned projects occurring simultaneously.