Toston Missouri River Corridor Planning Study logo

Study Description

The Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) has completed the Toston Missouri River Crossing Corridor Planning Study. The corridor planning study determined cost-effective ways to address transportation needs within the US 287 corridor near Toston, Montana.

Final Study Documents

Toston Missouri River Corridor Planning Study Report


A: Consultation, Coordination, and Public Involvement
B: Environmental Scan Report
C: Corridor Study Documentation

Study Background

In 2006, the Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) prepared a Revised Environmental Assessment and "Nationwide" Section 4(f) Evaluation for the Townsend-South (U.S. Highway 287) project. During the EA development, several alternative alignments were identified for possible consideration. One initial alternative alignment included a bypass of Townsend and Toston by relocating U.S. Highway 287 completely west of the Missouri River. This alternative alignment was not carried forward, however, due to significant public opposition.

The EA ultimately identified a Preferred Alternative for U.S. Highway 287, with a project termini beginning at the southern city limits of Townsend, near Milepost 78.1, to an ending project termini located just north of Toston, near Milepost 86.3. In the early stages of developing the EA, alignment alternatives for US 287 near Toston included moving the highway to a new location west of the Missouri River, reconstructing the highway east of the present corridor, and rebuilding the highway on or near the present road. After screening criteria were evaluated via the Townsend-South EA, all of the alternative alignments were eliminated from further consideration due to an increase in scope from that initially envisioned and the potential high cost of highway improvements. A major alignment shift would require MDT to undertake one massive project and the amount of road MDT would be obligated to maintain would significantly increase. Environmental effects were another associated concern for the rejection. Ther e would be an increase in ground disturbance, right of way acquisition, and wetland infringement. All of these impacts resulted in the rejection of the alignment options for US 287 near Toston, with the commitment made by MDT to study the area in greater detail via a corridor planning study. The Toston Missouri River Crossing Corridor Planning Study will address alignment options and focus on associated environmental issues and concerns, as well as technical feasibility and costs.

In 2009, the MDT selected the firm of Camp Dresser & McKee (CDM) Inc. (i.e., the Consultant) of Helena, MT to prepare the Corridor Planning Study.