In the summer, it can be one of the busiest secondary roads in Western Montana.

But engineers with the Montana Department of Transportation say the winding stretch of Montana 83 south of Seeley Lake is in series need of repairs and safety improvements. And that's going to mean a summer of construction right during the busiest time of the year.

MDT actually started work on the road along Salmon Lake back in the summer of 2020, with initial engineering work. That was followed by some tree removal last year. Now, the state is ready to move into the full construction phase during this summer's construction season.

MDT says the project includes several objectives

-Increase visibility

-Widen the highway with paved shoulders

-Straighten curves and flatten the roadway "profile"

-Reduce the risk of rockfall

-Improve drainage

-Install new signs and guardrail


A better highway for future traffic load

The state says not only will the project improve safety for existing traffic, but the objective is to create a road that's able to meet modern standards for handling expected increases in traffic in the years to come.

Engineers will explain the four-mile project next week

MDT, and its contractor, Kiewitt, are ready to start some work as soon as the weather allows. But first, Seeley residents and others that use the road are being given two chances to ask questions about the project.

There will be an in-person meeting on March 20th, at Seeley Lake Elementary from 4-6:30 pm. That will be followed by an online meeting via Zoom on March 22nd. People can register in advance by following this link.

If you'd like to learn more about the Salmon Lake project, MDT has posted a project website.

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