Montana Department of Transportation

MDT News


Initial improvements being made
prior to road construction

MISSOULA, Mont. (Feb. 2, 2018)	– Weather
is improving, which means limited construction work can begin. The
Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) announces that utility
work is in progress on the Frenchtown Frontage Road; the first of
several critical steps in the Frenchtown Frontage Road reconstruction
and the larger Huson East project.

“We know utility installation and
repairs will temporarily slow area traffic, but the improvements are
needed to best serve our community,” MDT Project Manager, John Benda
said. “The new roadway in Frenchtown will really help to create a
safer route for vehicles, bicyclists and pedestrians.”

Work is
beginning this winter to meet the demands of steadily increasing
traffic volume. This stretch is nearly 50 years old and is in need of
safer approaches, better drainage, site distance improvements, and
wider shoulders. With an increasing volume of travelers on the
Frontage Road, it is necessary to improve the roadway to meet current
standards for this usage and to create a safer roadway for all users.

Creating a safer roadway for all also means that the shared-used
path will be extended for pedestrians and cyclists to reduce the
chance of a collision with vehicles. At the end of construction, the
path will nearly double in length to extend the full 11 miles from
Huson to Highway 93.

The public is asked to take care traveling
through the area, as traffic control devices and flaggers are in
place to maintain a safe work zone. Multiple short delays can be
expected in the 11-mile project area. Travelers may be stopped as
many as three times for approximately five minutes per stop if
traveling from end to end of Frenchtown Frontage Road. 

Drivers are
encouraged to plan extra time or to use an alternate route. Traffic
control will be intermittent as utilities are upgraded throughout the
next several months.

Traffic will not be delayed between 6 and 8
a.m. and between 4:30 and 6:30 p.m. These are the best times to
commute through the area while lanes are open. 

The public is
encouraged to use I 90 as an alternative route throughout the

This initial utility work is part of the larger overall
project, which includes a $12.3 million investment in safety
improvements and pedestrian facilities. An open house will be held
this spring to provide more project details and an opportunity to
meet with MDT staff to ask questions, provide feedback and to engage
in meaningful conversations about community construction and
improvement work. 

The public is encouraged to reach out with any
questions regarding the project. Further information may be requested
by calling (406)-207-4484 or by emailing Information is also available on the
project web page,