GALLATIN COUNTY — Gallatin County is growing without a doubt, but is that the reason for all the construction? What’s with all the construction?
“Well, there’s two seasons in Montana, winter and construction season,” said William Fogarty with the Montana Department of Transportation (MDT).
And the season has started, which, if you traveled on 1-90 going towards Manhattan recently, you’ve already noticed.
“We’re trying to keep good roads good, and so, what they’re doing out there is they’re removing the top layer of the plant mix surfacing and then repaving, so resurfacing the roadway,” Fogarty explained.
It may seem like these construction projects are more of a frustration, but with Fogarty’s expertise, he says they really help each individual driver.
“Rough roads cost road users more money. When a roadway gets near to the end of its service life, those are the things that are having direct impacts on us as road users," he said. "So, resurfacing that road is going to reduce those costs, reduce travel time, increase safety—so there’s a lot of long-term benefits. However, during construction, it’s short-term frustration.”
So we’re in construction season—but when does it end?
“It’s usually weather-dependent. So, construction has started on a couple of projects, and you’ll likely see more as the summer goes on, and then construction season just lasts until the weather stops us from building roads and making improvements. So, depending on what it’s like here it could be as early as October or even later into the year.”
And within Bozeman, the construction you’re likely to see is a combination of things.
“The different projects are usually for maintenance or they might be even extending or improving a road because there’s more traffic on it. So, it really just depends on the project,” said Melody Mileur, communications coordinator for the City of Bozeman.
Right now, the only thing you really can do as a driver is just be patient and take the safety of yourself and workers seriously.