The Glasgow Courier - Serving Proudly As The Voice Of Valley County Since 1913

By Michelle Bigelbach
The Courier 

MDT To Begin Construction Across Eastern Montana

 

April 25, 2018



As the weather gets warmer and travel starts to increase, drivers will begin to notice a new feature along roadways throughout eastern Montana. The Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) announced they will be installing centerline rumble strips along key segments in an effort to reduce fatal and serious injury crashes.

According to Chris Puyear, a representative for MDT, work will begin on US Highway 2 from mile marker 667 to 540, from the North Dakota border to Hinsdale starting Monday, April 30, with mile marker 540 to 428 to follow on Saturday, May 5.

MDT is targeting rumble strip installation in areas that have experienced at least one fatality or serious injury within the last five years. Rumble strips will be installed in both passing and non-passing zones; however, they are not meant to deter safe passing. Passing drivers should always give other vehicles and cyclists plenty of room.

The installation of these rumble strips is part of MDT’s Vision Zero initiative, which is to reach zero fatalities and zero serious injuries on Montana’s highways. “Rumble strips are an extremely effective means of reducing roadway departure crashes, particularly those occurring when a vehicle crosses the median of a two-lane highway into oncoming traffic,” said MDT’s Glendive District Construction Engineer Clay Blackwell. “The strips are designed to be a wake-up call to drivers or motorcyclists unintentionally crossing the centerline. They give users who may be distracted, drowsy, or experiencing poor visibility in a snowstorm a chance to correct course.”

According to a press release provided by Puyear, roadway departure crashes are the number one crash type in Montana, as well as the most severe and fatal. In states implementing centerline rumble strips, total roadway departure crashes have been reduced by more than 40 percent and fatal and severe injury crashes have fallen more than 70 percent. 

“Installing rumble strips is a cost-effective measure we can take to improve the safety of our two-lane highways and save lives,” Blackwell explained. “Compared to a typical highway reconstruction project, which averages $1 million per mile, installing rumble strips is extremely economical at an average of $5,000 per mile.”

Travelers are encouraged to allow additional travel time to accommodate delays of up to 15 minutes during construction. Drivers should expect reduced speeds and lane closures in work zones with flaggers and pilot cars to direct traffic. Drivers are also reminded to slow down and pay close attention to their surroundings when traveling through work zones.

If there are any questions or would like to provide comments about this project, contact Puyear at 406-431-2499 or by e-mail at chrisp@strategies360.com.

 

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