Interstate 90 through Western Montana is getting a reputation as a real summer traffic headache the past few years, as the Montana Department of Transportation does its best to keep up with maintenance and improvements.

Starting with work on multiple bridges over the Clark Fork River in 2007, crews have spent every summer construction season working on not only spans but also reconstruction of the freeway, which has been in service for half a century.

Some of that work is more routine, but just as disruptive given the road's heavy traffic volumes with tourists and trucks. And next week it's that construction which will create delays for the rest of the summer.

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Re-surfacing in Mineral County

Crews have already started reconstruction of the freeway in the vicinity of Taft, which is creating two-way, single-lane traffic just east of Lookout Pass.

Now, MDT says a much longer resurfacing project is scheduled to start this coming week. The state's contractor, Riverside Contracting, will begin "seal and cover", or chip seal operations. The work is split into two segments. The first is from mile marker 23 at Henderson (west of St. Regis) extending to the east five miles through the canyon.

The second segment extends 10 miles from Dry Creek Road, west of Superior to Exit 55 at Lozeau.

RELATED: Work Begins on I-90 Near Lookout Pass

Expect delays

MDT says drivers should expect delays of 10-to-15 minutes with reduced speeds and single-lane traffic near work crews. Up-to-date width restrictions and road conditions are posted on the MDT website.

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Gallery Credit: Stephanie Gull

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