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Highway 191 Roadway Restoration Project Complete

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Critical road improvements were made from Tepee Creek Trailhead to Rainbow Point Road

Big Sky – Drivers to Yellowstone National Park can now fully enjoy a scenic and uninterrupted drive between Big Sky and West Yellowstone. The Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) has officially completed 23 miles of roadway improvements on Highway 191 from Tepee Creek Trailhead to Rainbow Point Road. Between the increasing road usage, wear-and-tear from harsh winters, and frequent underground geologic activity, this project was critical to ensuring U.S. 191 remains safe and smooth for the thousands of drivers who travel it.

“MDT would like to thank the public for their patience during restoration work on this treasured stretch of roadway,” William Fogarty, Butte District Administrator for the Montana Department of Transportation, acknowledged. “Together, MDT and drivers were able to navigate around each other safely, which allowed us to make numerous improvements to Highway 191.”

Riverside Contracting initiated construction on the project in May. Crews created a northbound left-turn lane at Rainbow Point Road, repaired bridge crossings over Specimen Creek and the Gallatin River, installed new guardrail, added rumble strips, and fully resurfaced the roadway.

Though construction on the project is largely finished, drivers can still expect crews to return for a few days of work this fall. Workers will be applying final striping by painting the lines of the roadway. Current lines on the road are only temporary. They will also do all final seeding, planting a mix of native plant seeds to restore the excavated areas. Drivers can expect to see new plant life sprout in the area in the spring.

An environmentally-conscious method of reusing existing roadway pavement materials, called ‘hot-in-place recycling’, was used by crews during road resurfacing efforts. This method reduced the amount of mining needed and required fewer asphalt trucks. It is not only cost-effective and environmentally-friendly; it prolongs the life of the road.

Those looking for any other information on the Highway 191 – North of West Yellowstone project are advised to email takami@bigskypublicrelations.com or call the project hotline at (406) 207-4484.

The Montana Department of Transportation together with its construction contracting partners continue to take the COVID-19 pandemic very seriously. Construction projects on Montana’s roads and bridges are considered an “essential” operation and will continue moving forward as scheduled in 2020. Construction workers will continue several measures to help keep employees, contractors and the public safe during the construction season. Some of the measures include following social distancing and good hygiene guidelines, and not reporting to work if showing symptoms of illness. For more information visit https://covid19.mt.gov/.

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