Construction Continues on I-90 Van Buren Interchange Roundabouts
The roundabouts that will take drivers in and out of Missoula from and onto Interstate 90 at the Van Buren exit are still under construction.
Knife River Construction Project Manager Mike Eichner said the approximately $10 million project utilizing between 30 and 50 workers is actually running ahead of schedule.
“There are two roundabouts,” Eichner began. “One for the eastbound on ramp and eastbound off ramp on the south side of the interstate and the one on the north side for the westbound off ramp and the westbound on ramp. The guys have really performed on this, they’re quite a bit ahead of schedule, and probably we’ll be at least three weeks from the initial planning of what we thought the project was going to take. We started on June 4th and we’re anticipating it to be complete in a couple of weeks, maybe by Friday, August 10th.”
Eichner said Missoula area drivers are now used to the concept of a roundabout, where the right of way actually goes from the left, however, he said he would prefer if drivers used the Orange Street exit or onramp until the Van Buren interchange can be completed.
“It would be nice if people could find a different route, but it is definitely usable,” he said. “The only thing that’s closed right now is the westbound onramp, but we’re paving that today so that will be open in the morning. Then, we’re going to shut down the eastbound off ramp starting tomorrow, but everything else is operational.”
Eichner said designers have planned extensive landscaping once the roundabouts have been completed, including many trees that were saved from the pervious interchange.