According to Montana Highway Patrol, 26 out of 64 crashes in this stretch of highway resulted in guardrail crashes. These occurred between 2009 and 2013.

Guardrail improvement project to begin

Expect delays starting in August

Beginning in August and continuing through November, guardrails will be updated along Highway 191 resulting in 15 minute delays during construction times. This project will start near Moose Creek Campground and end by the Hellroaring trailhead.

According to the Montana Highway Patrol via the Montana Department of Transportation official website, the guardrails along this corridor are old and outdated. Stronger materials will replace existing ones, the height of the guardrails will be raised to meet new standards and erosion stabilization efforts will be enforced.

MDT is taking on projects like this throughout the state, recently completing a section in Homestake Pass, according to an email from Katie Klietz, the projects’ Big Sky Public Relations liaison and account director. “The guardrail needs to be brought up to the new standards,” project manager Craig Walker explains.  

Additionally, a main point of action for the Gallatin Canyon Guardrail project is ensuring the ground beneath the rails is stable. Walker describes these erosion stabilization efforts as consisting of removing the entire guardrail, excavating and putting topsoil over the riprap, or loose stone used to combat water erosion. 

“Specific to the Gallatin Guardrail Project, this area was moved up in terms of priority due to the river erosion challenges. Because of this, crews would have needed to re-stabilize the ground around the existing guardrail in the very new future. Because the area also needed to be brought up to the new standards, it made the most financial sense to complete both aspects of the project at once,” Klietz states.

This project will take place August-November, with a specific start date not yet assigned. Working hours for the construction team are from 6 a.m. till 10 p.m. and up to 15 minute delays can occur throughout this time period. 

“Drivers will be stopped for up to 15 minutes at a time. This will be throughout the project duration and each and every day that they are working. With the single-lane traffic, flaggers will hold one direction of travel for up to that 15 minute time frame while the other direction of traffic passes. If there are several vehicles, this will take the full 15 minutes, which is why we say ‘up to.’ If there are fewer vehicles, then the traffic control folks will let all that travel lane through,” Klietz explains.

The Lone Peak Lookout will keep readers up to date with this project. Stay tuned for more information.

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