An update for Jackrabbit – Madison to Main project:
The Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) has hired engineering firm Morrison-Maierle to carry the torch of further developing Jackrabbit – Madison to Main project plans. Morrison-Maierle will develop plans to include a railroad crossing underpass or overpass on Jackrabbit Lane near Main Street. Traffic signal work once associated with the project will be conducted well ahead of other improvements.

Plans for Jackrabbit – Madison to Main include expanding Jackrabbit Lane to a five-lane roadway, from Madison Avenue to Main Street, and creating an underpass or overpass for the railroad crossing by Main Street so that traffic can flow uninterrupted crossing the train tracks. Morrison-Maierle will lead the design process, which involves surveying land, creating, reviewing, and editing plans, conducting environmental reviews, and negotiating with landowners on right of way. The is process is expected to take multiple years to complete.

The Jackrabbit – Madison to Main project also originally called for signal improvements. The department has identified separate funding for this work, allowing traffic to move more effectively as they address Jackrabbit’s larger needs. These improvements involve upgrading, and/or adding traffic signals at the following intersections:

  1. Amsterdam Road and Thorpe Road
  2. Amsterdam Road and Interstate 90 eastbound off-ramp
  3. Amsterdam Road and Jackrabbit Lane
  4. Jackrabbit Lane and Interstate 90 westbound off-ramp
  5. Jackrabbit Lane and Madison Avenue
  6. Jackrabbit Lane and Main Street
  7. Broadway and Main Street

Please feel free to call 406-207-4484 or contact Kim at kimXYZbigskypublicrelationsABCcom for more information or with any questions.

Project Overview

Belgrade residents have seen their community grow in many ways within the past few years. Coupled with development throughout the Gallatin Valley, there are several outstanding infrastructure needs that must be met. To provide long-term solutions to meet these needs, the Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) plans to widen a half-mile stretch of the highly-trafficked Jackrabbit Lane and construct a railroad underpass or overpass on Jackrabbit Lane by Main Street as part of the Jackrabbit – Madison to Main project.

Currently, this area has limited capacity roadways, no sidewalks, and congestion that increases during times of train travel. This baseline is not appropriately serving the community’s needs. It has not kept pace with growth and certainly will not accommodate Belgrade’s projected development.

The Jackrabbit – Madison to Main project will extend from the intersections of Madison Avenue and Main Street. Along this corridor, the existing three-lane road will be transformed into a five-lane facility with two lanes of travel in each direction, in addition to a center turn lane. A railroad underpass or overpass will also be constructed to allow vehicles to travel over and under the railroad tracks on Jackrabbit Lane without stopping. New curbs and gutters will be installed and sidewalks will be added, bringing this stretch of roadway into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

In addition, new right-of-way and the relocation of utilities will be required. MDT is dedicated to working with all potentially affected landowners prior to performing survey work and/or construction regarding property acquisition and temporary construction permits. These are community projects that can only be successfully accomplished if the project is representative of our community’s values.

Map

Jackrabbit - Madison to Main Map

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Project Changes

Jackrabbit – Madison to Main was originally developed without the separated train crossing (underpass or overpass). Meanwhile, Belgrade has been growing faster than ever before. Community concerns have been heard regarding how traffic would move as more subdivisions are being built near this major thoroughfare. Residents and community members called for a long-term solution to train traffic to supplement widening the roadway.

MDT took these concerns seriously and conducted a risk assessment in 2019, identifying the risks associated with building a structure and determining if construction would be feasible. MDT staff worked closely with local leaders on the decision to include this structure as part of the Jackrabbit – Madison to Main project.

This meant many changes for the project. Planned traffic signal upgrades, originally associated with this project, are now tentatively set to occur ahead of other improvements. This will help traffic move more smoothly during reconstruction of the portion of Jackrabbit Lane between Madison and Main Street. MDT and it’s consulting partners will develop project plans and look for funding to fully complete the project, including the new train structure.

The Jackrabbit – Madison to Main project now sits outside of MDT’s current five-year funding plan, and it will take time to develop project plans and to secure funding. Cost estimates to do this work have increased substantially, as building a separated train crossing is no easy feat. It will take significant time to survey the land, develop and review project plans, work with landowners on right-of-way, and secure environmental permits.

Process

Development to Complete steps graphic

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As the project moves through these important phases, MDT encourages residents to reach out with thoughts to help shape project elements such as detour routes, impacts to the traveling public, safety concerns and the needs of commercial and agricultural vehicles.

We recognize the impacts of construction on businesses, residents, and travelers and are committed to mitigating those challenges by delivering practical and timely information. Construction plans are not yet set. However, once construction starts, it will be in phases to limit disruptions. The following resources will provide important updates as planning moves forward.

For regular project updates:

  • Email updates: Contact Kim at kimXYZbigskypublicrelationsABCcom to subscribe.
  • SMS texting updates: Text BELGRADE to 41411.
  • Project hotline: 406-207-4484 during business hours.

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