US 212 - Red Lodge to Roberts logo

May 2022

Engineering contractor Sanderson Stewart has completed adjustments to the passing lanes on this project. These lanes have been adjusted due to concerns about turning vehicles and vehicles speeding to pass. The Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) also continues to work with neighbors on right-of-way agreements. Nearly 70% of negotiations have been completed.

Once all agreements are in place, this project will be considered “shovel-ready” or ready for construction. However, funding availability will be a significant factor in determining when this project is built. Funding has not yet been identified for this project.

The public is encouraged to reach out with thoughts and questions by the project hotline at 406-207-4484 operating Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., or by emailing sloaneXYZbigskypublicrelationsABCcom.

February 2022

This project remains in a similar place as last quarter’s update. The Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) continues working with neighbors on right-of-way agreements. Additionally, engineers are working on adjusting the passing lane by the Red Lodge KOA Journey. One of the major findings from this study was that the volume of turning vehicles was not enough to add dedicated turn lanes into the project. However, engineers are looking into adjusting where the passing lane ends to address concerns around vehicles speeding up to pass turning vehicles in the passing lane transition area.

The public is encouraged to reach out with thoughts and questions at any time by calling 406-207-4484 or emailing takami@bigskypublicrelations.com.

December 2021

The Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) continues working with neighbors on right-of-way agreements for the Red Lodge to Roberts project along US 212. Staff have completed over half of the total number of agreements required for the project. Engineers have also completed the traffic analysis for turning vehicles near Fox East Bench Road and the Red Lodge KOA Journey. With this analysis complete, consultants are in the process of analyzing the design for the passing lane near the KOA approach.

One of the questions our team receives most often is when this project’s construction will begin. We now have more information to share. MDT recently completed their five-year plan process, which is annually revised dependent upon how projects proceed each year. The US 212 – Red Lodge to Roberts project now sits outside of MDT’s five-year construction plan.

Within this part of the state, there are a tremendous number of competing needs. The Billings District stretches a wide area, including Hardin, Lewistown, Big Timber, Red Lodge, and Billings. Needs can range from modernizing aging infrastructure on rural highways to reconstructing major thoroughfares in our state’s largest city. There is simply not enough funding at this time to cover the needs of the entire district. That said, the five-year plan was done prior to the passage of the recent infrastructure bill. It remains to be seen how that bill might impact the five-year plan and this project.

We understand that many want to see this work completed. We will do all we can to ensure all are updated of schedule changes. As mentioned earlier, MDT reviews the five-year construction plan each year. As this process approaches again next fall, we will share if this project is added to the plan.

The public is encouraged to reach out with thoughts and questions at any time by calling 406-207-4484 or emailing takami@bigskypublicrelations.com.

August 2021

The Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) continues moving forward with the US 212 – Red Lodge to Roberts project. The team is in the process of finalizing plans with landowners located in the project area and has finished roughly 65 percent of right-of-way negotiations. The goal is to wrap up on these agreements by the fall permitting no delays.

Staff is also conducting traffic counts, including counting the number of turning vehicles near Fox East Bench Road and the Red Lodge KOA Journey. These efforts are being done as a direct result of feedback received during the open house earlier this year. You may see equipment or personnel near the side of the road in these areas. Results from the traffic count will help the project team understand any changes in traffic flow in recent years and inform next steps.

Please feel free to reach out with thoughts and questions at any time. The public is welcome to call 406-207-4484 or email Takami at takami@bigskypublicrelations.com.

April 2021

The Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) continues to move the US 212 – Red Lodge to Roberts project forward. The MDT project team is currently a little more than halfway through right-of-way negotiations with landowners. This is when plans become truly solidified as landowners and MDT representatives come to an agreement on the changes happening to their plot. During this time, staff not only work on right-of-way contracts, they make adjustments to project details as a result of negotiations.

In addition, staff are securing environmental permits, another key task needed for any project. In order to receive the permits needed for construction, other agencies review MDT’s plans, ensuring that the least environmentally damaging alternative was chosen and that impacts are limited as much as possible.

Both of these processes can take multiple months and can be lengthened further if agreements cannot be reached or if major changes are requested. It is the goal to have the project fully ready to build by 2022 or 2023. MDT also continues to look for funding to complete the project on this timeframe, but it could be a few years beyond this estimate that funding is solidified and construction occurs.

The public is always welcome to reach out with thoughts and questions at any time. Please call 406-207-4484 or email Takami at takami@bigskypublicrelations.com.