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Rush Hour: New traffic signal, gravel detour almost history 

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A new traffic signal was installed this week on Montana Highway 64 at Little Coyote Road. PHOTO BY JACK REANEY

Officials attribute Friday’s slow traffic to one-lane paving work 


Local drivers will notice a new traffic signal constructed on Montana Highway 64 (Lone Mountain Trail) at Little Coyote Road, now the second stoplight along the main road between U.S. Highway 191 and Big Sky Resort. The new traffic light will not be activated until October.  

The traffic signal is one of a dozen projects scheduled for this summer as part of TIGER Grant roadwork on Montana Highway 64. With various efforts underway, traffic continues to build at peak times. On the morning of Friday, Aug. 18, drivers were stuck in long lines on both sides of the gravel detour above the pedestrian tunnel and beside the new traffic signal.  

Crews have made significant progress on the pedestrian tunnel under Montana Highway 64. PHOTO BY JACK REANEY

As previously scheduled for Friday, crews began paving that gravel detour, forcing traffic into a one-way bottleneck.  

“They’re really hustling and knocking it out in a day,” Sloane Stinson, a representative for the project, told EBS in a phone call on Friday. “Going forward, there will always be two lanes maintained.”  

Stinson said their office received more calls than usual on Friday from frustrated members of the public, but she’s been able to assure drivers that this is a one-day effort to pave a short section of road.  

“It’s an all hands on deck situation. A few hours and we’ll be done with it,” Stinson said.  

By press time today, traffic was alternating between one- and two-way travel, with at least two lanes fully paved.  

Progress as of 3 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 18. Crews continued to work on paving lanes left of the cones. PHOTO BY JACK REANEY

A similar email update from Aug. 4 had anticipated construction of the traffic signal in September, but crews got a head start by installing the structures early this week.  

“Traffic light is installed, but they aren’t going to turn that on until early October because all of the paint markings need to be [added] before that happens,” Stinson said. She confirmed that the recently built stoplights are not related to Friday’s slow traffic.  

Ongoing work near Town Center 

Representatives continue to encourage drivers to prepare for delays as crews work on widening highway 64 to build a left-turn lane at Huntley Drive.  

“Drivers are encouraged to plan for delays as vehicles will be stopped periodically to allow traffic in the opposite direction to travel through the work zone,” the Aug. 11 email stated.  

As construction continues on the shared-use path between Big Pine Drive and Andesite Road, representatives said drivers can expect “minimal traffic impacts” but urged the public not to use the unfinished path.  

“Shared-use path closures are necessary to complete construction activities and barriers are in place as a safety measure. Please do not manipulate or remove construction barriers to access the shared-use path,” the Aug. 18 email stated. 

Construction projects on Montana Highway 64 are being funded by a $13.6 million TIGER (Transportation Infrastructure Generating Economic Recovery) Grant. DESIGN BY TRISTA HILLMAN

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