Montana Department of Transportation

Public Involvement

South of Boulder South project logo

South of Boulder South

Project Overview

South of Boulder-South project (CN 6097000).

Whitetail Road between Boulder and Whitehall was part of a historic "trail" that was used in its heyday to transport people and goods to and from Montana from the railroad in Corrine, Utah. Stops included Virginia City, Bannack, and Helena. While people dispersed into various parts of Montana, depending on the reason for their visit, the end was often the Fort Benton steamboat landing. Many famous people that visited Montana passed through on this trail, including Calamity Jane. From her quote below, you can imagine her and many others traveling by horse and buggy and stopping along this road to rest, eat, drink, and shoot guns.

  • I left Montana in Spring of 1866, for Utah, arriving at Salt Lake City during the summer. By the time we reached Virginia City I was considered a remarkable good shot and a fearless rider for a girl of my age.

The Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) will be rebuilding two segments of Whitetail Road (State Road 399) south of Boulder to decrease the amount of maintenance required by Jefferson County. The new design will bring the road up to current standards and will inherently improve the safety of the roadway, while minimizing the environmental and cultural impacts.

The work includes building a new driving surface, installing new culverts, and making minor changes to the road alignment. The new road will generally follow the existing road but does improve the sharper curves to improve safety for drivers, as shown in the picture below near the Rocky Canyon Creek.

south of boulder south new road image

Map of Project Areas

There are two segments along Whitetail Road (State Road 399) that are part of the project, as shown on the map linked below.

Southern Segment

The first segment of the project is approximately 9 miles long and starts near Antelope Lane where the existing pavement ends. It extends north from there and ends just over a half mile beyond the National Forest boundary. This segment of the project will be rebuilt to meet State Secondary System Design Standards for Rural Collector Roads. This segment will be reconstructed with a new gravel road surface.

Northern Segment

The second segment of the project is approximately a mile and a half long and is located closer to Boulder. The segment starts at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds and continues south to the intersection of Whitetail Road and Hot Springs Road. This segment of the project will also be reconstructed to meet State Secondary System Design Standards for Rural Collector Roads. Unlike the gravel surface of the south segment, this segment will be paved with asphalt to better match what is there now.

Next Steps

The design is wrapping up and the next steps of the project are:

  • Public Informational Meeting – Spring 2019 (exact date will be updated)
  • Finalize Project Plans/Specifications - October 2019
  • Construction Contracting Phase - February 2020
  • Approximate Construction Start – April/May 2020
  • Major Construction Ends – Fall 2020

Click on the Project Benefits link on the right to learn how the new roadway will decrease maintenance and improve the safety of the road.