By Martin J. Kidston
The building of the $5 million Havre-west road project, slated to begin in mid to late July, will be done with business owners and motorists in mind, said Michael Johnson, district manager for the Montana Department of Transportation.
Using the 10th Avenue project in Great Falls as a tool, Johnson said the department is learning how to be community friendly. As a result, the MDOT has received many compliments from citizens that, before the 10th Avenue project began, were concerned that their businesses and motor routes would be impacted.
Weve received very positive responses to the 10th Avenue project in Great Falls, Johnson said, explaining his departments efforts to keep the community informed on traffic, project updates, changes and detours. Well put the same efforts into the Havre-west project, and keep the community on top of things as we move along.
Johnson said the MDOT will begin letting bids in June, and he sees the project beginning mid to late July, which gives the winning contractor several weeks to gear up for the two-year project. As far as impact on local businesses, Johnson said it would be kept minimal.
We have a traffic control plan that sequences how things will be done, Johnson said. We will keep open all alleys, driveways and intersections. We will phase the project, so half will be completed before the other half begins.
The Havre-west project consists of reinforcing, rebuilding, widening and the general overhaul of Highway 2 from the citys water treatment plant, west to the junction of Highway 87.
Among the construction plans, the entrance to the Holiday Village Shopping Mall will be aligned with 19th Street (next to the Super 8 Motel) where a traffic light will be installed. Efforts to contain hillside drainage and erosion will be made with reinforcements, and gutters, sidewalks and curbs will be installed.
Were trying to build this with the least possible inconvenience to the traveling public, Johnson said. The ultimate outcome will be something we can all be proud of.
With questions or comments, contact the MDOT district office in Great Falls at 406-454-5880.