A chip seal project on the highway through West Glacier milepost 0.0 to 0.3 from U.S. 2 to Middle Fork of the Flathead River and U.S. 2 milepost 140.0 to 142.6 began on July 9 per the Montana Department of Transportation (MDT). Anticipated work hours are Tuesday to Friday, as early as 6 a.m. and as late as 8 p.m. weather permitting. These extended work hours are intended to minimize the overall impact to travelers by reducing the total number of days that chip seal work will be performed.

Speed limits will be dramatically reduced in the work zone. Signage will direct single lane traffic and flaggers will be present during active work. Motorists are encouraged to plan ahead and should expect 15 minute delays for the P 65 project and 30 to 45 minute delays for the U.S. Hwy. 2 project. MDT is dedicated to expediting this project and apologizes for any inconvenience it may cause.

Extreme weather conditions in Montana create timing challenges for chip seal projects. “Conditions for chip sealing have to be perfect – not too hot and not too cold, or the seal won’t fully set,” said, John Schmidt, District Operations Engineer for Montana Department of Transportation’s Missoula District. “With the weather in mind, MDT works alongside the contractors on the job to minimize the impact to travelers, especially during busy summer months.”

Chip sealing provides a sustainable, cost-effective method of pavement preservation, particularly in a fluctuating climate like that of Montana. The cost of chip sealing is typically 15-20 percent of the overall cost of a major pavement rehabilitation project. Major rehabilitations can be very expensive and cause extended traffic disruptions; traffic can be slowed, detoured or otherwise unsettled for months at a time. In contrast, chip seals are typically completed much more quickly - getting roads back to functional, safe conditions as soon as possible. 

Motorists are reminded to watch for work crews and equipment as well as signs indicating reduced speed limits. Posted limits are enforced until signs indicate that the work zone has ended. Fines double work zones when workers are present. Find additional information on Work Zone Safety at www.mdt.mt.gov/visionzero/people/workzones.shtml

For the latest construction and weather reports, please dial 511 or visit www.mdt 511.com for the hearing impaired, the TTY number is 444-7696 or 1-800-335-7592.

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