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Paving to begin on Hwy. 200

 


Crews will begin paving the roadway next week at the Montana Department of Transportation (DOT) project to improve a 2.7-mile stretch of Highway 200 east of Thompson Falls.

Traffic delays will be similar to those seen recently by travelers, with 10- to 15-minute delays expected and one lane of traffic from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Traffic will return to two lanes in the evening.

The wildlife crossing underpass bridge has been installed and most of the wildlife fencing has been set. Paving is expected to begin the week of July 29 depending on weather.

The project includes widening the traffic lanes to 12 feet and adding 4-foot-wide shoulders and guardrails. Rocks were removed and uphill slopes along the construction area have been stabilized.

Still left in the project after paving is installing Wildlife Deterrent Mats. There will be one mat at each end of the construction, and they will help deter animals from entering the area by delivering a mild but harmless electric shock. If an animal does happen to get into the fenced area, several “jump-throughs” have been constructed along the construction area to allow wildlife to easily escape.

Once the paving is complete, construction crews will take out the detour around the bridge on which traffic has been traveling throughout the project.

LHC Construction of Kalispell has been completing the project along with DOT. This section of Highway 200 was built in the 1930s, and DOT said it has a higher than average crash rate, due in large part to wildlife and rocks falling into the roadway.

For more information about the project and current updates, visit http://www.mdt.gov/pubinvolve/east-thompsonriver.

 

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