By Martin J. Kidston
The Montana Department of Transportation announced that Highway 2 west of Havre will be opened today and remain open for the duration of the winter.
MDT Engineering Manager Gary Berg said that Highway 2 will remain a gravel surface throughout the winter.
Though crews have been working on the highway since late summer, the MDT closed the hill above Hillside Trailer Court and extended the detour after making the discovery that the soils under the road were unstable. Since then, the hill has been stabilized and will be re-opened for traffic.
"Work on the hill is coming along," Berg said. "It's stabilized enough to open for traffic, though we still have to put some dirt in there."
Berg said that crews will continue to work on the highway until winter weather prevents it, at which point the project will be discontinued for the rest of the season. Berg said he is happy with the progress made so far.
"The roadway itself is built and gravelled, and most of the pipe work is done," Berg said. "We still have to cut ditches and work outside the shoulders."
Next project season, Berg said, the road will be paved, gutters will be installed and the electrical work will be done. The project calls for a newly designed entrance to the Holiday Village Shopping Mall, along with a traffic light, sidewalks and streetlights.
The project is expected to be completed next year.