The Montana Department of Transportation is constructing safety improvements to Secondary Highway 206 (S 206) between Kalispell and Columbia Falls in Flathead County. The project begins at the Montana Highway 35 (MT 35) junction and extends north approximately 10 miles, ending at the US Highway 2 (US 2) junction near Columbia Falls. The project began in summer 2022 and is expected to be completed in 2023.
Work completed in 2022 included:
- Widening the highway by adding 4-foot shoulders on both sides
- Reconstructing the sidewalks at the intersection of S 206 and US 2
- Flattening the steep slopes on the side of the road
- Adding new mailbox turnouts
In 2023, crews will return to pave the shoulders and approaches, resurface the roadway, apply a seal and cover (chip seal), install centerline and shoulder rumble strips, and paint final pavement markings.
Why is the project necessary?
This section of S 206 has a history of roadway departure crashes. The purpose of this project is to improve safety and help reduce roadway departure crashes.
- From 2007 through 2013, the Montana Highway Patrol reported 171 crashes along this corridor, with the main crash trend being roadway departure crashes (78 crashes).
- From 2014 through 2017, there were 116 roadway departure crashes.
- From 2014 through 2017, roadway departure crashes have resulted in 3 fatalities and 8 serious injuries.