What is happening near Three Forks?
This summer, US 287 North of Three Forks will be under construction between Hilltop Road/Copper City Road and Buffalo Jump Road. The 6-mile stretch of highway, located in Broadwater County between I- 90 and Toston, will be widened to 4-lanes. Construction began in March 2020 and will be completed by Summer 2021.
Why is the project being done?
US 287 is an important state highway connecting Three Forks and I- 90 to Helena and the surrounding communities. It is also popular for tourists traveling between Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks. The project will improve stopping and sight distance - the distance a driver can see clearly and the length of time they have to come to a stop. The road will also be widened to four-lanes to handle more traffic.
What is the schedule for the project?
Construction will be completed over two seasons (2020 - 2021) starting Spring 2020. Traffic delays and lane closures are anticipated Summer through Fall 2020. Construction is expected to shut down over the winter and restart Spring 2021. Final improvements will be completed by Summer 2021, concluding with rumble strips and chip sealing.
Will this affect traffic?
There will be traffic delays through Fall 2020 during excavation and paving. Flaggers will be present. Controlled excavation on a section of highway south of the Secondary Highway 437 North junction will result in a 45-60 minute delay.
Will there be restrictions to bicycle travel?
YYes, once construction starts there will be extended sections of gravel terrain where street bike tires may have trouble traversing. Email for additional details.
What is controlled excavation?
Charges are placed into the bottom of a hole. Gravel is used to fill the top portion of the hole. The pressure created by the charge is internalized so the broken aggregate remains in place.
Why is controlled excavation being used?
Controlled excavation is being used to fracture rock material that is too hard for heavy equipment to break.
What is the cost of this project?
The overall construction cost for this project is estimated at $15 million. This is a federal aid project.
How can I ask questions or leave comments?
Questions can be submitted via email to or call the project hotline 888-886-8730. You may also subscribe to Email . Please include "US 287 North of Three Forks" in the subject line. You may also subscribe to project updates by texting us287threeforks to 47177.