Montana Department of Transportation

MDT Meetings and Events

Grass Range - Veterans Roundabout Planned For MT 19/US 87



October 4, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE	

Lori Ryan, Public
Information Officer, (406) 444-6821, lryan@mt.gov

Montana Department
of Transportation Announces Plan to Construct Central Montana
Veterans Roundabout North of Grass Range

GRASS RANGE — The Montana
Department of Transportation (MDT) would like to notify the public of
plans to construct a roundabout at the intersection of U.S. Highway
87/Montana Highway 19 and Montana Highway 200 approximately one mile
north of Grass Range in Fergus County.

The Grass Range project was
originally nominated by MDT as a safety improvement project in
response to high historical crash frequency and severity rates for
the intersection. Previous attempts to mitigate the crash problem
included overhead flashers, in-lane rumble strips, oversized speed
limit reduction signs with flashing oversized warning signs, and
oversized four-way stop signs. However, these interim attempts are
not working as witnessed by camera data collected over 88 hours in
four days in June.

The general traffic behavior recorded over this
time indicates only a third of traffic came to a complete stop at the
stop signs, with two-thirds making rolling stops or running of the
stop signs at full speed. Tendency for rolling stops was also
observed by left-turning traffic and platoons of vehicles.
Approximately half of right-turning traffic traveled on the shoulder
outside of the painted lane lines. Approximately one vehicle per hour
ran the stop sign at full speed.

Historically, over a 15-year period
ending in 2016, a total of 19 crashes were reported within the study
area within this intersection, including four fatalities in three
fatal crashes, four incapacitating injuries, and 12
non-incapacitating injuries.

To address the safety issue, MDT will
pursue the construction of a roundabout as the most appropriate
solution. Single-lane roundabouts have an excellent track record for
virtually eliminating severe crashes, while moving traffic
efficiently. “We take our mission of providing a transportation
system and services that emphasize quality, safety, cost
effectiveness, economic vitality and sensitivity to the environment
seriously,” MDT Director Mike Tooley said. “Central Montana is a
military crossroads for many Veterans. This location will honor
Veterans of Montana. If you’re crossing paths with a Veteran here,
thank them!” added Tooley. The project is scheduled for construction
in 2018. 

For more information, please contact Billings District
Administrator Stefan Streeter at (406) 657-0268 or Traffic and Safety
Bureau Chief Roy Peterson at (406) 444-9252. Members of the public
may submit written comments to the Montana Department of
Transportation Billings office at P.O. Box 20437, Billings, MT 
59104-0437, or online at:
 
www.mdt.mt.gov/mdt/comment_form.shtml

Please note that your comments are for project UPN 7848000.
Alternative accessible formats of this information will be provided
upon request by contacting the Office of Civil Rights, P.O. Box
201001, Helena, MT 59620; (406) 444-9229; fax (406) 444-7243, or
e-mail to aflesch@mt.gov. Those using a TTY may call (800) 335-7592
or through the Montana Relay Service at 711.