Highway 206 construction done for the winter; paving next year

Nov. 23—Hungry Horse News

The Montana Department of Transportation and Riverside Contracting have paused construction on Secondary Highway 206 near Columbia Falls for the winter season.

"Our construction season was shortened on this project because Riverside Contracting was pulled out to help repair the damage from the Yellowstone River flooding in the spring," said Drew Fetters, MDT Missoula District Engineering Project Manager. "We were still able to get a lot accomplished this year including the primary tasks of flattening the slopes on the sides of the road and widening both shoulders."

The purpose of this project is to address a roadway departure crash trend by adding safety improvements. Work completed in 2022 included widening the highway by adding 4-foot shoulders on both sides, reconstructing the sidewalks at the intersection of Highway 206 and U.S. Highway 2, flattening the steep slopes on the side of the road, and adding mailbox turnouts.

"There is still a lot of work to be done to finish the project," said Fetters. "The contractor plans to begin work as soon as the weather permits next spring."

Crews will return in 2023 to pave the shoulders and approaches, resurface the roadway, upgrade guardrails, apply a seal and cover (chip seal), install centerline and shoulder rumble strips, and paint final pavement markings. The project is anticipated to be completed in 2023.

Between 2014 and 2017, 116 roadway departure crashes were reported on 206. Three fatalities and eight serious injuries were reported as a result of those crashes. From 2007 to 2013, the Montana Highway Patrol reported 171 crashes along the corridor, with the main crash trend being roadway departure crashes — 78 crashes total.

To stay up to date on this project, visit www.mdt.mt.gov/pubinvolve/secondary206.

To sign up for construction updates, text HWY206 to 22828 for email updates or text HWY206 to 866-434-0866 (toll-free) for text message— updates. Questions and comments can be sent to brandon@rbci.net or by phone at 406-369-6205.