State mulls U.S. 93 upgrades near Somers

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The Montana Department of Transportation is seeking public comments on a proposal to study improvement options on a segment of U.S. 93 near Somers.

The study would begin at reference post 102, just south of the old U.S. 93 intersection and extend north for 4 miles, ending at reference post 106 at the Forest Hill Road intersection.

According to Project Design Engineer Ben Nunnallee, the primary goal of the proposed project is to repave that section of highway and make it thicker than normal.

We were able to get the money for the work, he said. Its part of our annual evaluation and one that needs done.

Nunnallee said some of the work the state may do isnt set in stone and will depend on just how much money it ends up with for the work.

The study also will evaluate options for possibly widening shoulders south of the Montana 82 intersection to return them to a width of 4 feet.

Also, the path that is used by bicyclists and pedestrians that parallels U.S. 93 may be fog-sealed with a specially formulated oil sprayed over an existing surface to protect and extend the life of the roadway. If any crossings on the path need upgrades to Americans With Disabilities Act facilities those may also be done.

In addition, the state is considering upgrades to guardrails and concrete barrier rail upgrades and signs.

The results of the study may lead to a design project that would develop plans for a future construction project.

The study is currently scheduled to be completed in late 2019.

For more information, contact Missoula District Administrator Ed Toavs at 406-523-5802 or Project Design Engineer Ben Nunnallee at 406-523-5846. Members of the public may submit written comments to the Montana Department of Transportation Missoula office at P.O. Box 7039, Missoula, MT 59807-7039, or online at mdt.mt.gov/mdt/comment_form.shtml.

Comments are for project UPN 9186000. Alternative accessible formats of this information will be provided upon request by contacting Alice Flesch, Human Resources and Occupational Safety Division, P.O. Box 201001, Helena, MT 59620; 406-444-9229; TTY 800-335-7592; fax 406-444-7243; or e-mail aflesch@mt.gov.

Reporter Scott Shindledecker can be reached at (406) 758-4441 or sshindledecker@dailyinterlake.com.

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