Old MT 200 – Erosion Repair
Throughout much of 2020, the Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) will be improving 0.3 miles of roadway along the Clark Fork River near Marshall Mountain Road through the Old MT 200 Erosion Repair project. The Clark Fork River experienced heavy spring runoff and flooding in 2019, causing erosion between the river and Old MT 200 in areas from East Missoula to Bonner.
Federal emergency relief dollars are covering a majority of the $5.5 million estimated cost for repairs.
The first step in this project will be to remove trees in the area where construction activities will be taking place later in the season. Tree-clearing along the project area will begin mid-March and take approximately two weeks. The reason MDT and their crews start with tree removal is for one simple, yet very important factor. Birds.
Roadside landscaping is completed months before the project begins to protect migratory birds, in accordance with the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) of 1918. The MBTA protects migratory birds and forbids disturbing or moving their eggs and nests. The Montana Department of Transportation cannot remove trees or shrubs if migratory birds are nesting in them so landscaping must begin before the birds return in the spring. By removing potential nesting sites before birds come back to Montana, any possible conservation-construction conflict is eliminated, and the project can move forward as scheduled.
Construction & Erosion Repair
Once trees have been removed in the project area, construction can begin. General construction activities are anticipated to begin mid-May of 2020 and will take approximately seven months to complete. The project should be wrapping up in November of 2020, dependent upon favorable weather.
While trees are cleared and roadway construction is underway, drivers, cyclists and pedestrians traveling on Old MT 200 will experience significant impacts. Intermittent lane closures and delays of up to 15 minutes are possible, and it is recommended that travelers utilize alternate routes. There will be no work in the Clark Fork River and boaters/floaters will not be affected.
MDT understands that this route is used frequently by those recreating at Marshall Mountain, on the Clark Fork River and Blackfoot River, at Canyon River Golf Course, and KettleHouse Amphitheater. The Old MT 200 Erosion Repair project will extend the life of the roadway and ensure that it remains a connection for Missoula and surrounding communities for years to come. There will be impacts to travel and MDT is thankful for the continued patience of residents and travelers. Once construction nears, another update will be sent. In the interim, please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns.
Stay in the Know
While construction is underway, travelers should anticipate traffic congestion and delays. Impacted commuters and adjacent residents and businesses are encouraged contact the project team below to learn how crews and the community can work together to minimize these challenges.
- Email Katie Klietz at Katie@BigSkyPublicRelations.com to sign up for updates
- Text “OLDMT200” to 41411
- Call 406-207-4484