All-night construction on one of Montana's busiest streets, starting at its most notorious intersection, was set to begin Monday at 7 p.m.
For the next two weeks the Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) and Acme Concrete Paving will be rehabilitating concrete on the outside lanes of Reserve Street's "Box Store Corridor" from Mullan Road to Interstate 90 in Missoula.
It's the start of a $5.7 million surface rehab project on the 5.4 miles of Reserve Street from I-90 to Brooks Street that will take six months to complete.
To ease traffic congestion, most of the work will take place weeknights from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. It will entail single-lane closures with delays of up to 15 minutes, reduced speed limits and installation of directional signals on Reserve Street. At the Grant Creek Road/I-90 intersection drivers will encounter shoulder and single-lane closures and flaggers.
It'll also be noisy. MDT said "diamond grinding" will be employed using closely spaced diamond saw blades grinding against the road to remove hardened concrete and bumps.
"Nighttime work will lessen the impact to daytime travelers; however, some businesses may experience construction noise during the later hours," an MDT press release said. "Business access will remain open, but delays can be anticipated in the evening for drivers entering or exiting. MDT is committed to minimizing noise impacts and travel delays by working efficiently to finish the road work as quickly as possible."
In addition to resurfacing, the intersection of I-90 and Grant Creek Road will be reconfigured to add southbound travel and bike lanes on Grant Creek Road. A right-turn lane onto the interstate westbound entrance ramp for traffic coming down Grant Creek will be built, and a new traffic signal will be installed.
American with Disabilities Act-compliant upgrades for safe crossing are planned for the I-90 eastbound ramps, the I-90 and Reserve Street intersection and the Expressway intersection on Reserve Street.
Crews will be on the scene only at night but the project area is considered an active construction zone 24 hours a day. Drivers should be alert around the clock to traffic pattern changes.
John Schmidt, construction engineer for MDT's Missoula District, said that often, daytime temperatures are required for paving to set properly. In this case the materials don't have as restrictive temperature requirements, allowing for the nighttime work.
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