By Tim Leeds
Gary Berg, field project manager for the Havre office of the Montana Department of Transportation (MDT,) says the Havre West and First Street projects are nearing completion.
Berg said paving and chip-sealing are completed, the stop light at the Holiday Village Shopping Center should be turned on Thursday, and about all that's left to do is finish striping on First Street.
A turning lane has been inserted from Ninth Avenue West to Montana Avenue on First Street. Berg said that is as far as the turning lane will run at this time, although future projects could extend it through the rest of Havre. On-street parking has been eliminated through that section of First Street to make room for the turning lane.
Cement pedestrian protectors have been installed by Gary & Leo's IGA and the TownHouse Inns of Havre. Berg said five lanes of traffic is too much to expect pedestrians to cross, so the protectors were put in place to reduce the traffic crossed to two lanes at a time.
He said he knows of no plans to put new stoplights in place on First Avenue at this time.
Berg said most of the work remaining is to put cross walk stripes and turn arrows on First Street.
He said it will probably be a couple of months before all of the signs are put in place on Highway 2 West, and they will wait for some moisture before finishing the landscaping of the Havre West Project.
In other news, MDT has announced a revision to the plan to resurface a section of U.S. Highway 2 near Chester. Instead of beginning at the west end of Chester and resurfacing to the intersection of Secondary 255, just south of Rudyard, the project will now be split into two projects divided by the Liberty County line.
No new right-of-way will be required.
The work from Chester to the Liberty County line is anticipated to begin in the 2003 construction season, and the work from the Hill County line to Secondary 255 to begin in the 2004 construction season.
For more information on the Chester to the Liberty County Line project or the Hill County Line-East project, please contact Michael Johnson, district administrator, PO Box 1359, Great Falls MT 59407-1359, (406) 454-5880 or 1-888-730-0898. For the hearing impaired the TTY number is (406) 444-7697 or 1-800-335-7592.