Highway Getting Wider Between Nashua, Fort Peck
Jim Orr / The Courier
The Department of Transportation is going about appraising and acquiring land along Highway 117 in preparation for widening the road next summer. Above: looking north a couple of miles south of Nashua.
Residents from Nashua to Fort Peck might have received a knock in the door recently. This is because workers from the state Department of Transportation are preparing for a project that's been in planning for nearly a decade – in their front yard.
Shane Mintz, administrator of the Glendive District of DOT, explained that the project is in the acquisition and appraisal stage. They are buying land from owners along the Highway 117 to help widen and straighten out the road next summer. The construction is part of a federal aid project expected to cost around $15 million.
The roadwork will start from the intersection of highways 24 and 117. Mintz explained that the road will go from about 28 to 32 feet wide, adding around two feet along each side to the shoulders.
It will also help with drainage issues. A small ditch will be placed along the side of the roadway to help with pooling water on the roadway and onto landowner's property.
"We're basically bringing the road up to current standards," Mintz said.
Public meetings were held in the area around three years ago, and the DOT didn't face much opposition on the project. Mintz said that they are still meeting and talking to landowners and working on appraisals to offer market value to residents.
"We're sitting down with landowners, and they will get to see the plans and will receive all the information on the project," Mintz said. "This won't be a large impact project."
The highway condition does not meet DOT standards and has been on the list of projects to complete. A few other projects will be taking place next summer along with this one, so Mintz wanted to remind residents and travelers to respect road crews while they're working to improve the roadways.