Toston Structures Project
What is happening near Toston?
The Toston Structures project is located on U.S. 287 near Toston in Broadwater County. This project involves roadway reconstruction and replacement of three structures: the Six Mile Creek crossing, the MRL Bridge, and the Missouri River Bridge. The work will construct 3.5 miles of new roadway. Other work includes the installation of new guardrail; replacing all existing culverts; and the removal of existing bridges and structures. A pedestrian tunnel will be constructed between the Missouri River and Radersburg Road, which will increase pedestrian safety crossing U.S. 287 and provide access to a school bus turnout and truss bridge. Warning signs and wildlife detection systems, along with wildlife fencing, will be installed to reduce wildlife deaths and increase driver safety.
Why is the project being done?
U.S. 287 is an important state highway connecting Three Forks and Interstate 90 to Helena and the surrounding communities. It is also popular for tourists traveling between Yellowstone and Glacier national parks. The existing bridges are aging (60-70 years old) and no longer meet current transportation design or environmental standards. In a recent five-year study, this stretch of road has had higher crash frequency and more severe crashes than similar roads. New structures will address primary safety concerns and accommodate future traffic demands.
What is the schedule for the project?
Weather permitting, project construction will start in mid-April. Construction will continue through three construction seasons, concluding with the installation of rumble strips, chip seal, and final striping in the summer of 2021.
What is happening right now in 2019?
The current construction schedule anticipates work will begin the week of April 15. The primary goals for 2019 are the completion of the MRL Bridge and the concrete footings for the Missouri River Bridge.
How can I ask questions or leave comments?
- Questions can be submitted online. Please include “Toston Structures” as the project.
- Text updates can be provided by texting “tostonstructures” to 555888.
- Questions and updates by .
What are the project’s goals and objectives?
The project includes construction of 3.5 miles of new roadway, some of which will be moved over to connect to the new bridges over the Missouri River and BNSF railroad tracks. The two new bridges will be wider than the existing ones and will also include more room on the shoulder for walkers and bicyclists. The project will improve traffic safety, functionality, and operations on this segment of U.S. 287. This will better accommodate existing and future traffic demands and improve the physical condition of the roadway surface and bridge structures.
Will this affect traffic?
There will be minor impacts on traffic along U.S. 287 this year. While traffic will remain on the existing road while the new roadway and bridges are being constructed and will move to the new roadway only after completion, there will be a short time this summer where traffic will be limited to one lane across the existing bridges and pilot cars will be used to guide traffic across. This will lead to some short delays to traffic on U.S. 287.
Please note, after the new roadway and bridges are completed, the old roadway and bridges will be removed.
Will people continue to be able to utilize the Toston Fishing Access?
Yes, it is anticipated the fishing access will remain open and available throughout construction. Any closure of the access will be short in duration (less than 30 minutes) and notice will be given.
What is the cost of this project?
The overall construction cost for this project is estimated at $41.5 million. Approximately three million of that is state MDT funding and $28.5 million is federal funding. In addition, the state received a $10 million-dollar grant through the BUILD (Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development) Transportation Grant from the federal government. This, of course, reduced the overall cost to the State of Montana.