Montana Department of Transportation

MDT News

Construction Begins May 1st On U.S. Highway 12 In East Helen

Construction begins May 1st on U.S. Highway 12 in East Helena
will improve roadway safety on the East Helena viaduct

Helena, Mont.
– Mountain West Holding Company is set to begin construction of the
concrete barriers on U.S. Highway 12 in between East Helena and
Helena to enhance safety on the elevated roadway, known locally as
the viaduct. 

Beginning May 1st, Mountain West Holding Company will
close the Eastbound and Westbound passing lanes of Highway 12 between
Helena and East Helena from reference posts 47 to 49.  The contractor
will be working from 7am to 7pm placing concrete bases in the center
median for the crash cushions and concrete barriers which will be
installed later in the month of May.  This work should be completed
by Friday, May 4th.  The passing lanes will be closed 24 hours a day
until this work is completed.

Installation of concrete barrier rails
and crash cushions will begin on Tuesday, May 15th and the estimated
completion date is Friday, May 18th.  The contractor will be working
from 7am to 7pm and the passing lanes will be closed 24 hours a day
until this work is completed.

Motorists should expect one lane of
traffic open in each direction during installation and reduced speeds
in the work zone. Motorists are reminded to watch for work crews,
equipment and travel at posted speeds and remember fines are double
in work zones. 

In July, the majority of construction work will
begin, including installation of a raised median at the center of the
roadway, new lighting, improved signage and concrete panel
replacement. In addition, the bridge deck of the viaduct will undergo
surface treatment to improve traction and reduce skidding. Work is
scheduled to be completed in November. 

The East Helena viaduct
project was selected based on MDT’s data-driven, strategic approach
for the selection and prioritization of safety improvement projects.
“MDT has the proven tools and a rigorous process for reducing serious
injury and fatal crashes,” Roy Peterson, MDT’s Traffic and Safety
Bureau Chief said. “Going forward we believe these changes will
benefit drivers, particularly if the weather is bad or you are
unfamiliar with the area.”

Montana’s goal of Vision Zero is moving
the state toward zero deaths and zero injuries on all Montana roads
through education, enforcement, engineering and emergency medical
response. Because one life lost is one too many, MDT and its partners
are united in their mission to save lives on Montana roads. But they
can't do this alone — they need the public’s help. Commit to Vision
Zero, drive safe and make work zone safety a priority. 

information about Montana highway safety programs can be found at