Montana Department of Transportation

Malcolm “Mack” Long, Director


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MDT News

Low Noise Centerline Rumble Strip Construction Begins

Missoula, Montana - The Montana Department of Transportation (MDT)
will begin installing low noise centerline rumble strips on highways
in western Montana this spring. The project is anticipated to begin
in early April, with dates still to be determined. Flathead, Lake,
Lincoln, Mineral, Missoula, Ravalli, and Sanders Counties will all
see construction this spring and summer. Lake, Ravalli, and Sanders
Counties will also see roadside improvement work, with MDT updating
signs and shoulder rumble strips.

Traditional rumble strips are
grooves in the pavement that produce a rumbling noise and vibration
when a vehicle drives over the strip. Shoulder rumble strips have
been utilized on Montana's highways for decades to alert drivers
veering off the side of the road. Low noise rumble strips are now
being installed along the centerline of undivided highways to
continue improving the safety of Montana's highways. Low-noise rumble
strips still cause noise and vibration to alert the driver. Yet, they
are much less audible outside the vehicle, making them less
disruptive to people living along highways. 

"We're pleased to get
this project underway and begin installing low noise centerline
rumble strips throughout the Missoula District," said John Schmidt,
construction engineer for the district. "The technology of rumble
strips has greatly improved, allowing for a much quieter experience
for those in the vicinity of the strips, yet they are just as
effective as traditional rumble strips and a proven cost-effective
solution for reducing serious injury and fatal crashes."

rumble strips are designed to prevent roadway departure crashes,
particularly head-on and sideswipe crashes that occur when a vehicle
crosses the centerline of an undivided highway into the oncoming lane
of traffic.  

Schmidt noted that studies from other states where
rumble strip projects have been implemented showed a reduction in
roadway departure crashes by as much as 42 percent and severe injury
crashes by as much as 73 percent.

MDT is taking measures to be as
efficient as possible to create as little disruption as possible
during centerline rumble strip installations. MDT will contact folks
in the installation areas, so they know when and where installations
are happening. During construction, traffic will be slowed but not
stopped and routed around the work zones. During paving, there will
be traffic stops with pilot cars.

A map of the installation areas
can be found here: []. Visit
the project website here: 

When traveling
during construction season, watch for the "cone zone" and workers on
the highway. These workers spend their days working a short distance
from fast-moving vehicles. While they make every effort to work
safely, they count on you to pay attention, slow down and be careful
as you pass through a work zone.

Remember the Three S's of work zone
safety: speed, space, and stress. Learn more about MDT's work zone
safety initiatives here:

1.	Manage
your speed

2.	Manage your space

3.	Manage your stress

sign up for construction newsletters, email Aly Russell at To sign up for SMS construction updates, text
"rumble" to 406-223-1603.

MDT will work through fall 2021 installing
the low-noise centerline rumble strips, projecting to complete the
installations this season. 

Alternative accessible formats of this
document will be provided on request. Persons who need an alternative
format should contact the Office of Civil Rights, Department of
Transportation, 2701 Prospect Avenue, PO Box 201001, Helena, MT
59620. Telephone 406-444-5416 or Montana Relay Service at 711.