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Regional Boards => Mountain West => Topic started by: andy3175 on July 08, 2017, 06:51:29 PM

Title: Montana
Post by: andy3175 on July 08, 2017, 06:51:29 PM
A recent Great Falls Tribune article (6/8/2017) describes planned construction activities around Montana this summer. Here, I've summarized eight projects highlighted in that article.

http://www.greatfallstribune.com/story/news/2017/06/08/eight-highway-construction-projects-you-should-aware-summer/378890001/

1. Interstate 15 NW of Great Falls between Emerson Junction and Manchester pavement reconstruction/replacement of 50-year-old pavement at a cost of $8.75 million

2. Multiple Helena-area projects: Capital/Cedar Street Bridge in Helena, replacement of rail line overpass, and addition of Interstate 15 traffic lane at a cost of $25.07 million

3. Multiple Great Falls-area repaving projects: 8th Avenue North (between 15th and 26th Streets), Overlook Drive, south-central arterials (13th Street, 24th Avenue South and 26th Street South) at a cost of $5.27 million

4. U.S. 87 road surface repaving between Raynesford and Geyser (32 miles NE of Great Falls) a cost of $3.50 million

5. U.S. 89 road reconstruction north of 3.7-mile segment north of Bynum including fencing and cattle guards at a cost of $4.26 million (the article notes that this project is "the continuation of a multi-year effort to rebuild Highway 89 along its entire length from Dupuyer to Fairfield –  a scenic route but one that was narrow, curvy and fell well short of 21st century standards. 'It was a horrible road before we reconstructed it,' (an MDT spokesman) said. 'A lot of it was built in the mid-1930s. We’ve got the worst of the worst done now, and we’re actually working on the design of the Choteau north project.'"

6. U.S. 89 new culvert installation (along with road improvements) west of Browning at a cost of $7.43 million

7. Multiple Havre projects, including the 7th Ave Bridge (north of Main Street over the BNSF Railway tracks) and the junction between U.S. 2 and U.S. 87 (includes new sidewalks and accessibility improvements) at a cost of $2.83 million

8. Secondary Highway 409; converting 6-mile gravel road into paved road from Chester north toward the Canadian border at a cost of $3.61 million

For up-to-date road conditions and information on potential highway road construction delays, log on to the Montana Department of Transportation’s road report at roadreport.mdt.mt.gov/travinfomobile/
Title: Re: Montana
Post by: Billy F 1988 on July 10, 2017, 04:09:06 PM
Russell Street Bridge in Missoula. Self explanatory. The thing is crumpling very slowly. It's needing a much needed upgrade despite the interruption of traffic.
Title: Re: Montana
Post by: Dougtone on December 04, 2019, 09:28:41 PM
Let's take a drive down MT 135, the St. Regis-Paradise Scenic Byway in western Montana. It's often considered to be a scenic shortcut to Glacier National Park from I-90.
https://www.gribblenation.org/2019/12/st-regis-paradise-scenic-byway.html (https://www.gribblenation.org/2019/12/st-regis-paradise-scenic-byway.html)
Title: Re: Montana
Post by: Dougtone on January 08, 2020, 06:43:08 AM
Let's take a trip down US 93 through the Flathead Valley and along the Mission Mountains between Whitefish and Missoula.

https://www.gribblenation.org/2020/01/us-93-in-montana-from-flathead-valley.html (https://www.gribblenation.org/2020/01/us-93-in-montana-from-flathead-valley.html)
Title: Re: Montana
Post by: Billy F 1988 on September 04, 2020, 07:06:15 PM
I have officially deduced that Missoula's area roadways are annoying as POOP to drive on at the afternoon hours every day.

(Yes, Broadway. That means you!) >(
Title: Re: Montana
Post by: Tom958 on December 10, 2020, 07:51:56 AM
Just making a note: this 1981 bridge (https://www.google.com/maps/@45.7779498,-110.066348,3a,25.3y,354.44h,96.77t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1sanWxmZ42bv_jv3KCETzYDw!2e0!6s%2F%2Fgeo1.ggpht.com%2Fcbk%3Fpanoid%3DanWxmZ42bv_jv3KCETzYDw%26output%3Dthumbnail%26cb_client%3Dmaps_sv.tactile.gps%26thumb%3D2%26w%3D203%26h%3D100%26yaw%3D219.5663%26pitch%3D0%26thumbfov%3D100!7i13312!8i6656) over I-90 just west of Big Timber has a hog wire fence atop the usual jersey barrier. I've never seen hog wire on a bridge before, let alone on one on an Interstate highway. 
Title: Re: Montana
Post by: Kniwt on January 27, 2021, 12:33:16 PM
The Billings Gazette reports that a bridge built across the Yellowstone River in 1931 along old US 10 (paralleling I-90 between Reed Point and Columbus) has been closed due to fears of imminent collapse.
https://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/old-yellowstone-river-bridge-may-soon-collapse-river-closed-near-span/article_7694168e-82d8-54fe-9881-18326dd5dddb.html

Quote
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks closed a 200-yard stretch of the Yellowstone River east of Reed Point Monday because an old highway bridge is in danger of collapsing into the water.

The Montana Department of Transportation informed FWP this week that the Twin Bridges Road bridge is close to failing.

About half of one of the bridge piers located in the main channel of the river has been scoured away, said Stephanie Brandenberger, a bridge engineer for MDT.

... The bridge was built in 1931. The concrete and rebar footings are original, so they've lasted for 90 years as the Yellowstone River battered them with debris and high water.

(https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/billingsgazette.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/f1/df17b7da-3131-53fd-819f-2d85b02e79ab/6010c476eb34d.image.jpg)
Title: Re: Montana
Post by: Billy F 1988 on January 31, 2021, 02:30:56 PM
The Billings Gazette reports that a bridge built across the Yellowstone River in 1931 along old US 10 (paralleling I-90 between Reed Point and Columbus) has been closed due to fears of imminent collapse.
https://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/old-yellowstone-river-bridge-may-soon-collapse-river-closed-near-span/article_7694168e-82d8-54fe-9881-18326dd5dddb.html

Quote
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks closed a 200-yard stretch of the Yellowstone River east of Reed Point Monday because an old highway bridge is in danger of collapsing into the water.

The Montana Department of Transportation informed FWP this week that the Twin Bridges Road bridge is close to failing.

About half of one of the bridge piers located in the main channel of the river has been scoured away, said Stephanie Brandenberger, a bridge engineer for MDT.

... The bridge was built in 1931. The concrete and rebar footings are original, so they've lasted for 90 years as the Yellowstone River battered them with debris and high water.

(https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/billingsgazette.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/f1/df17b7da-3131-53fd-819f-2d85b02e79ab/6010c476eb34d.image.jpg)

Yikes.  :-o :-o :-o I don't like the look of the eroded concrete showing the rebar. They better figure out how to at least rebolster the structure or get a new one in place soon. Good call by MDT to shut it down before any vehicle crossed it and fell into the freezing cold Yellowstone.
Title: Re: Montana
Post by: FrCorySticha on February 01, 2021, 10:46:40 AM
Yikes.  :-o :-o :-o I don't like the look of the eroded concrete showing the rebar. They better figure out how to at least rebolster the structure or get a new one in place soon. Good call by MDT to shut it down before any vehicle crossed it and fell into the freezing cold Yellowstone.

I have a feeling MDT is just going to tear it down. The bridge allows access to a couple houses and ranches along a short stub of the old highway between the river and interstate. It would be easier and cheaper for MDT to work with Montana Rail Link to allow them to use the railway access road under the interstate.
Title: Re: Montana
Post by: Plutonic Panda on March 12, 2021, 04:10:22 PM
Major overhaul of dangerous I-90 bridge in Yellowstone County scheduled for fall

Quote
Itís called the 1-90 Yellowstone River project, and it will mean big improvements to an approximate 2.6 mile stretch of the interstate between the 27th Street exchange and the Lockwood exchange, adding a third lane in each direction.

Full article here: https://www.kbzk.com/news/local-news/major-overhaul-of-dangerous-i-90-bridge-in-yellowstone-county-scheduled-for-fall
Title: Re: Montana
Post by: andy3175 on March 13, 2021, 09:09:11 AM
Article about existing and desired safety improvements along US 93:

https://missoulian.com/opinion/columnists/complete-highway-93-corridor-to-save-lives/article_8e9f2c11-3158-5463-a0bc-0f7966eb72e8.html

Quote
Polson and Evaro, with all its animal underpasses, overpass and fencing with jump-outs, has been a godsend for the safety of the animals that must traverse the highway and for the motorists who travel 93 and can now worry less about the trauma of hitting an animal. The Salish-Kootenai Tribes, Jones & Jones Architects, Montana Department of Transportation and all the others who played a part in the design and construction of this very efficient road must be proud. It is one of the most animal-friendly highways in the world ó except for the unfinished 9.2 miles between Ronan and Post Creek.

For about 15 years, this part of 93 has remained undone due to unanswered questions of how to complete the highway through this complex area ó complex because of streams, Ninepipes Reservoir and politics. Difficult, Iím sure. But, in the meantime, the adage ďPray for me, I drive 93Ē still applies. Itís a dangerous area. And not just for humans.


Title: Re: Montana
Post by: abqtraveler on March 13, 2021, 11:16:56 AM
The Billings Gazette reports that a bridge built across the Yellowstone River in 1931 along old US 10 (paralleling I-90 between Reed Point and Columbus) has been closed due to fears of imminent collapse.
https://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/old-yellowstone-river-bridge-may-soon-collapse-river-closed-near-span/article_7694168e-82d8-54fe-9881-18326dd5dddb.html

Quote
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks closed a 200-yard stretch of the Yellowstone River east of Reed Point Monday because an old highway bridge is in danger of collapsing into the water.

The Montana Department of Transportation informed FWP this week that the Twin Bridges Road bridge is close to failing.

About half of one of the bridge piers located in the main channel of the river has been scoured away, said Stephanie Brandenberger, a bridge engineer for MDT.

... The bridge was built in 1931. The concrete and rebar footings are original, so they've lasted for 90 years as the Yellowstone River battered them with debris and high water.

(https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/billingsgazette.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/f1/df17b7da-3131-53fd-819f-2d85b02e79ab/6010c476eb34d.image.jpg)

Yikes.  :-o :-o :-o I don't like the look of the eroded concrete showing the rebar. They better figure out how to at least rebolster the structure or get a new one in place soon. Good call by MDT to shut it down before any vehicle crossed it and fell into the freezing cold Yellowstone.

MDT just awarded a $2 million contract to demolish this bridge on Thursday. Per the contract specifications, the contractor must have the river spans (2 through 4) removed by May 15th, and the remainder of the bridge removed by end of summer timeframe.  They relocated the family that resided on the east side of the river, to eliminate the need to build a new bridge in its place.
Title: Re: Montana
Post by: Kniwt on March 17, 2021, 12:51:49 PM
The Missoulian reports on a plan to rebuild MT 200 through East Missoula:

https://missoulian.com/news/local/highway-200-corridor-plan-through-east-missoula-could-bring-major-traffic-changes/article_17c95b0e-0f60-507d-a92d-4e954ea0c371.html

Quote
It is ambitious and not yet funded, but plans for a massive project to reshape Highway 200 from Van Buren Street to Tamarack Road are chugging along.

The project, called the East Missoula-Highway 200 Corridor Plan, was presented at a Public Works committee meeting Tuesday. It calls for a reconstructed railroad bridge near the I-90 interchange, as well as increased parking near the Sha-Ron River Access Point, a popular recreation area in the warm months of the year.

Trails, potentially two roundabouts and major changes to the main stretch through East Missoula around Randles Street and Clyde Street are also in the plan, which at this stage is mostly conceptual.

... The plan is still conceptual, meaning there has not been preliminary engineering or surveying done. In a city document outlining the probable costs for the preferred way the project would be done, the price tag would come out to around $31 million.

(https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/missoulian.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/23/723c9619-2f26-552e-b940-1b431d1897a8/60513d5e37292.image.jpg)
Title: Re: Montana
Post by: andy3175 on April 02, 2021, 01:29:17 PM
Montana Secondary Highway 269 is under construction and planned for additional improvements:

https://mdt.mt.gov/pubinvolve/southstevi/

Quote
Designed to save lives and prevent serious crashes, this project will enhance roadside safety along Highway 269 and the Eastside Highway The Stevensville Safety Improvements project will begin just north of the intersection of North Birch Creek Road and the Eastside Highway and will extend 5.9 miles north to the Pine Hollow Road intersection.

The proposed work plan currently includes widening the existing roadway by adding four-foot shoulders on both sides of the highway and flattening the roadside slopes with sections of guardrail being constructed along the route. Additionally, a new flashing signal will be placed at Bell Crossing,and Willoughby Lane will be realigned to better facilitate safe travel at the intersection. Utility upgrades and bridge replacements will occur throughout the project. Upon completion, the roadway will be sealed and have new pavement markings and signs.


An article related to the first phase of work outlines the need for this project:

https://www.montanarightnow.com/missoula/construction-begins-on-one-of-montanas-most-dangerous-stretches-of-highway/article_ff4862c0-dcb7-11ea-8337-877c24e1619a.html

Quote
The Montana Department of transportation is starting the first phase of construction on one of the most dangerous stretches of highway in the state. 

The first phase of construction will start on the Eastside Highway, Highway 269, as part of the Stevensville Safety Improvement Project. Traffic will be down to one lane as crews will be out surveying underground utilities south of Bell Crossing at Willoughy Creek and Web Foot Ditch. ...

From 2003 to 2017, there were over 400 collisions, six fatalities and over 20 serious injuries. To improve this area, MDT plans to widen the existing roadway to include four foot shoulders, adding a new flashing signal at Bell Crossing, and realigning Willoughby Lane to better facilitate safe travel at the intersection.

Full roadway construction for Stevensville Safety Improvements project is slated to begin in the spring of 2021 with the possibility of intermittent lane closures occurring this fall. Construction will begin just north of the intersection of North Birch Creek Road and the Eastside Highway and will extend 5.9 miles north to the Pine Hollow Road intersection.


The roadway has recently seen its share of accidents including this fatal accident:

https://www.kpax.com/news/ravalli-county/stevensville-teenager-dies-woman-injured-after-head-on-crash-friday-night

Quote
A 17-year-old male from Stevensville is dead and a 20-year-old Great Falls woman is injured after a head-on collision near Corvallis on Friday (March 5, 2021).

The Montana Highway Patrol reports that at around 8:23 p.m., the 17-year-old was driving a Volkswagen southbound on Highway 269 and attempted to negotiate a right hand curve when he lost control. The vehicle went into the oncoming lane of traffic and hit a Dodge Ram pulling a horse trailer head on.


SM-G975U

Title: Re: Montana
Post by: andy3175 on April 02, 2021, 11:40:27 PM
Ticketing system temporarily in place on Going to the Sun Road in Glacier National Park:

https://www.travelawaits.com/2563025/glacier-national-park-going-to-the-sun-road-ticket-2021/

Quote
  The National Park Service expects large crowds in all parks this year because people are looking for outdoor activities and excursions as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. In a proactive move, officials at Glacier National Park announced the park will implement a vehicle entry reservation system for its popular Going-to-the-Sun Road to ease crowding and road congestion. Tickets will be required from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend.

ďWe just felt like the ticketed entry would get us a couple of things,Ē park spokeswoman Gina Kerzman said, an 8KPAX article reports. ďFirst, we would reduce the congestion in the park, and it would also prevent us from having backups on Highway 2. It also would allow our visitors to have a more quality visit and also allow us to protect resources since we expect a high number of visitors this summer.Ē

Glacier National Park, which the NPS calls the Crown of the Continent, is known for its rugged mountains, spectacular lakes, and more than 700 miles of trails. One of the parkís most popular attractions is the Going-to-the-Sun Road, an almost 50-mile scenic road that makes its way through the park -- and even crosses the Continental Divide at Logan Pass.

The flip side of the coin is that the park has a rapidly growing number of visitors. In 2019, for example, Glacier National Park was the tenth most-visited national park in the country -- with more than three million visitors, according to NPS.

Indeed, in 2019, approximately 2.6 million visitors visited the park between June and September. The parkís busiest month is July, and in July of 2019 alone, roughly 900,000 people visited the park. Whatís more, even though visitation was down last year due to the pandemic, the park still saw significant crowds.

ďWe have the making of a perfect storm this season,Ē Park Superintendent Jeff Mow said in a statement, the KPAX article reports. ďNot only do we have ongoing COVID-19 mitigations and reduced staffing, we are also facing construction delays inside and around the park. The goal [of the ticket reservation system] is to maximize access while avoiding congestion that results in temporary closures of park entrance gates.Ē


In 2020, Glacier National Park had temporary closures 29 times in 25 days at the parkís West Entrance, which resulted in backups along Highway 2, an NBC Montana article reports. Implementing the ticketed entry system increases the certainty that visitors will be able to enter the park.

Hereís how the system will work: Visitors will need to purchase -- in advance and in addition to park entrance fees -- a vehicle entry reservation ticket to enter the 50-mile-long Going-To-The-Sun Road corridor at the West Glacier and St. Mary entrances from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. The system will take effect Memorial Day weekend and continue through Labor Day weekend.

What the system will hopefully prevent is what NPS calls a ďworst-case scenarioĒ -- in which ďvisitors may endure 40-minute construction delays on Highway 2 traveling to the park, arrive at the west entrance to find that entry is temporarily closed, and then have to endure another 40 minutes of construction delays to return to the Flathead Valley or head to the east side of the park on Highway 2.Ē



SM-G975U

Title: Re: Montana
Post by: Plutonic Panda on April 03, 2021, 12:14:58 AM
I am not happy at all by this precedent and Iím worried it wonít be temporary. I donít like reserved camping and now theyíre doing this same thing in the Rockies NP. Deal with the congestion. You arenít the only one who should just be lucky enough to have gotten a reservation. That wasnít how the national parks were supposed to be.
Title: Re: Montana
Post by: Billy F 1988 on April 06, 2021, 10:02:14 PM
I realize how frustrating this can be. However, since I am a Montana resident myself, I don't live in the Flathead Valley so I can't really give an honest response to the potential backlash the NPS and GNP will encounter. I don't know if this kind of system will spill over to Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Badlands, etc. or if this is exclusive to GNP. I've never been on Going-to-the-Sun Road, nor have I traveled up to U.S. 2 towards the West Entrance to even get a glimpse as to how you get from the West Entrance over to the other side of the divide back towards Cut Bank.
Title: Re: Montana
Post by: Rothman on April 06, 2021, 11:51:33 PM
Given how crowded the road is during the tourist season, a ticketing system seems like a good idea given the circumstances of maintenance and construction.
Title: Re: Montana
Post by: FrCorySticha on April 07, 2021, 12:55:13 AM
The last decade or so has brought about a lot of recognition of Glacier that wasn't there before. It seemed to be the forgotten park in the shadow of Yellowstone, but that has changed quite a bit. This has led to many more vehicles crossing Going-to-the-Sun Road than it ever was designed to handle. Perhaps this ticket system will allow for being able to enjoy the ride again without the excessive traffic.

I was thinking that I need to spend a couple days camping in Glacier this summer. That'll give me the excuse to check out the ticket system.
Title: Re: Montana
Post by: Plutonic Panda on April 07, 2021, 01:03:38 AM
The last decade or so has brought about a lot of recognition of Glacier that wasn't there before. It seemed to be the forgotten park in the shadow of Yellowstone, but that has changed quite a bit. This has led to many more vehicles crossing Going-to-the-Sun Road than it ever was designed to handle. Perhaps this ticket system will allow for being able to enjoy the ride again without the excessive traffic.

I was thinking that I need to spend a couple days camping in Glacier this summer. That'll give me the excuse to check out the ticket system.
No one has a right to a national park someone else doesnít have because they werenít able to get a ticket. If you want seclusion there are time of places to have it.
Title: Re: Montana
Post by: Rothman on April 07, 2021, 07:14:35 AM
The last decade or so has brought about a lot of recognition of Glacier that wasn't there before. It seemed to be the forgotten park in the shadow of Yellowstone, but that has changed quite a bit. This has led to many more vehicles crossing Going-to-the-Sun Road than it ever was designed to handle. Perhaps this ticket system will allow for being able to enjoy the ride again without the excessive traffic.

I was thinking that I need to spend a couple days camping in Glacier this summer. That'll give me the excuse to check out the ticket system.
No one has a right to a national park someone else doesnít have because they werenít able to get a ticket. If you want seclusion there are time of places to have it.
So, what's your solution to the issue at hand, then?
Title: Re: Montana
Post by: Plutonic Panda on April 07, 2021, 08:05:46 AM
The last decade or so has brought about a lot of recognition of Glacier that wasn't there before. It seemed to be the forgotten park in the shadow of Yellowstone, but that has changed quite a bit. This has led to many more vehicles crossing Going-to-the-Sun Road than it ever was designed to handle. Perhaps this ticket system will allow for being able to enjoy the ride again without the excessive traffic.

I was thinking that I need to spend a couple days camping in Glacier this summer. That'll give me the excuse to check out the ticket system.
No one has a right to a national park someone else doesnít have because they werenít able to get a ticket. If you want seclusion there are time of places to have it.
So, what's your solution to the issue at hand, then?
We donít need a solution. Neither you or I have a right to a national park someone else doesnít have. Expect congestion and other people. If there are none then enjoy but donít be mad because other people want to experience the things you want to.

FWIW, I spend months every year exploring and camping in our national parks and forest. I love the outdoors and believe me when I tell you I have found my myself irritated at times by large crowds, traffic congestion, tourist doing stupid shit, or things like driving endlessly up and down UT-128 looking for a camping spot along the Colorado because theyíre all taken. Make reservations at Disney world or renting hotels and cabins. Entering our parks and camping? Leave that alone.
Title: Re: Montana
Post by: Rothman on April 07, 2021, 08:17:21 AM


The last decade or so has brought about a lot of recognition of Glacier that wasn't there before. It seemed to be the forgotten park in the shadow of Yellowstone, but that has changed quite a bit. This has led to many more vehicles crossing Going-to-the-Sun Road than it ever was designed to handle. Perhaps this ticket system will allow for being able to enjoy the ride again without the excessive traffic.

I was thinking that I need to spend a couple days camping in Glacier this summer. That'll give me the excuse to check out the ticket system.
No one has a right to a national park someone else doesnít have because they werenít able to get a ticket. If you want seclusion there are time of places to have it.
So, what's your solution to the issue at hand, then?
We donít need a solution. Neither you or I have a right to a national park someone else doesnít have. Expect congestion and other people. If there are none then enjoy but donít be mad because other people want to experience the things you want to.

FWIW, I spend months every year exploring and camping in our national parks and forest. I love the outdoors and believe me when I tell you I have found my myself irritated at times by large crowds, traffic congestion, tourist doing stupid shit, or things like driving endlessly up and down UT-128 looking for a camping spot along the Colorado because theyíre all taken. Make reservations at Disney world or renting hotels and cabins. Entering our parks and camping? Leave that alone.

You're ignoring the fact that one major catalyst of the ticketing system is the construction and maintenance on the road itself.

Sites managed by the National Park Service are to preserve the character of the area as defined in the designations.  When such sites are being "loved to death," quotas to lessen human impact are quite appropriate and effective (e.g., Half Dome hiking permits are another example).
Title: Re: Montana
Post by: Plutonic Panda on April 07, 2021, 09:42:19 AM


The last decade or so has brought about a lot of recognition of Glacier that wasn't there before. It seemed to be the forgotten park in the shadow of Yellowstone, but that has changed quite a bit. This has led to many more vehicles crossing Going-to-the-Sun Road than it ever was designed to handle. Perhaps this ticket system will allow for being able to enjoy the ride again without the excessive traffic.

I was thinking that I need to spend a couple days camping in Glacier this summer. That'll give me the excuse to check out the ticket system.
No one has a right to a national park someone else doesnít have because they werenít able to get a ticket. If you want seclusion there are time of places to have it.
So, what's your solution to the issue at hand, then?
We donít need a solution. Neither you or I have a right to a national park someone else doesnít have. Expect congestion and other people. If there are none then enjoy but donít be mad because other people want to experience the things you want to.

FWIW, I spend months every year exploring and camping in our national parks and forest. I love the outdoors and believe me when I tell you I have found my myself irritated at times by large crowds, traffic congestion, tourist doing stupid shit, or things like driving endlessly up and down UT-128 looking for a camping spot along the Colorado because theyíre all taken. Make reservations at Disney world or renting hotels and cabins. Entering our parks and camping? Leave that alone.

You're ignoring the fact that one major catalyst of the ticketing system is the construction and maintenance on the road itself.

Sites managed by the National Park Service are to preserve the character of the area as defined in the designations.  When such sites are being "loved to death," quotas to lessen human impact are quite appropriate and effective (e.g., Half Dome hiking permits are another example).
If there is an active construction project going then that is different. I can understand controlling traffic while a road is reconstructed or worked on.

Reservations for national parks entry be it by car or on foot is not something I will ever support and I will vocally oppose. Hopefully this doesnít become the norm. Preservation of character for specific areas is up to the responsibility of the individual. Controlling who can access the park and when simply prevents people from experiencing said area and if the main concern was that then it shouldnít be accessible to humans at all. Of course that isnít the case.
Title: Re: Montana
Post by: FrCorySticha on April 07, 2021, 12:42:18 PM
There have been reservations for parts of national parks for years. You can't just show up and expect to get a camping site without a reservation. You can't just expect to start a multi-day backpacking hike without reserving camping sites, and can't just camp wherever you want.

The fact is, whether you like it or not, the National Park Service has the obligation to protect the park and preserve it, not "the responsibility of the individual". There is no "right" to unlimited access to the park just because you say so. The NPS has the obligation to determine whether or not current visitor loads are too excessive for the park, and to put restrictions in place to ensure the integrity of the park.

Also, the reservation is not a specific time for entrance. It's a reservation that lasts for 7 days, and you can enter and leave as many times as you want during that period. This isn't a big deal, and it won't restrict people from visiting the park, so long as they do just a tiny bit of planning ahead.
Title: Re: Montana
Post by: Plutonic Panda on April 07, 2021, 01:51:13 PM
There have been reservations for parts of national parks for years. You can't just show up and expect to get a camping site without a reservation. You can't just expect to start a multi-day backpacking hike without reserving camping sites, and can't just camp wherever you want.

The fact is, whether you like it or not, the National Park Service has the obligation to protect the park and preserve it, not "the responsibility of the individual". There is no "right" to unlimited access to the park just because you say so. The NPS has the obligation to determine whether or not current visitor loads are too excessive for the park, and to put restrictions in place to ensure the integrity of the park.

Also, the reservation is not a specific time for entrance. It's a reservation that lasts for 7 days, and you can enter and leave as many times as you want during that period. This isn't a big deal, and it won't restrict people from visiting the park, so long as they do just a tiny bit of planning ahead.
Iíll respond to this later as a lot of what you said is just borderline strawmans but never once did I claim you can camp anywhere you want and nor did I claim you are guaranteed camping. I spent around 100 days camping last year Iím pretty familiar with it and Iíll respond more in detail in a bit.
Title: Re: Montana
Post by: Plutonic Panda on April 07, 2021, 02:02:15 PM
PS Iím just going to create a new thread for this cause I realize I have hijacked thread sorry but this is an issue but I care deeply about.
Title: Re: Montana
Post by: FrCorySticha on April 07, 2021, 03:08:17 PM
Iíll respond to this later as a lot of what you said is just borderline strawmans but never once did I claim you can camp anywhere you want and nor did I claim you are guaranteed camping. I spent around 100 days camping last year Iím pretty familiar with it and Iíll respond more in detail in a bit.

Nothing strawman about my argument. There are precedents within the NPS for how many people can use certain aspects of the park at a time, and reservations are required to ensure that. They're just implementing reservations for how many people can drive the Going-to-the-Sun Road, as the reservations are only for private vehicle access through the West and St. Mary's entrances of the park between Memorial Day and Labor Day. You can walk or bike through those entrances without a reservation. You can stay in the hotels in the park and the reservation for that stay covers the reservation for the entrance. You can ride the classic red bus into the park and that covers the reservation. So no strawman here, just showing precedent for reservations within NPS.
Title: Re: Montana
Post by: US 89 on April 07, 2021, 03:25:31 PM
I think one solution to the problem of overcrowded national parks that doesn't involve reservations is simply to limit capacity at the entrances - something along the lines of "we aren't allowed to let more than X cars into the park in a Y minute span".

Arches had to do this last week. Other than the resulting long line to enter the park, it seemed to work just fine.
Title: Re: Montana
Post by: deathtopumpkins on April 07, 2021, 06:49:00 PM
Also, the reservation is not a specific time for entrance. It's a reservation that lasts for 7 days, and you can enter and leave as many times as you want during that period. This isn't a big deal, and it won't restrict people from visiting the park, so long as they do just a tiny bit of planning ahead.

This isn't entirely accurate. While yes, one entry is valid for 7 days, you MUST enter the park on the specific day you make the reservation for. So if you make a reservation for July 10, you MUST enter the park on July 10. You can return as many times as you want from the 11th through the 16th (assuming they aren't turning people away because it's at capacity), but ONLY if you entered the park on the 10th. You can't make a reservation for the 10th and then not show up until the 14th.

And the above is only true for Glacier. Rocky Mountain is doing timed entries this summer - you have to reserve a 2 hour window to arrive within.

I visited some national parks with reservations last year, and I'll be visiting more this year (including Glacier). The reservations are annoying, but I think they're necessary given how crowded they've gotten. My only real complaint is that reservations MUST be made online (which excludes anyone without internet access), and how NPS insists they're free, then turns around and charges you a $2 fee to make one.

I definitely prefer a reservation system over just limiting capacity at the entrance though. It's much more conducive to visiting parks as part of a cross-country road trip, especially if you just want to drive through.
Title: Re: Montana
Post by: Plutonic Panda on April 07, 2021, 08:02:23 PM
I made a thread here for discussing reservations and public lands access.

https://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=28984.msg2593987#new
Title: Re: Montana
Post by: abqtraveler on May 21, 2021, 09:29:07 AM
The old US-10 bridge over the Yellowstone River east of Reed Point that was in danger of collapse is almost gone. As of this morning, all of the truss sections have been dismantled. The bridge pier (Pier 4) that was in danger of failing due to scour has been removed, as has been Pier 5 and the northern abutment. All that remains is the southern abutment, a short span from that abutment to Pier 2, and Pier 3. I'm figuring that within the next couple of weeks what's left of the bridge will be gone, and the contractor will start cleaning up.

The Montana Department of Transportation has set up a webcam with an image archive so you can watch the bridge as it's dismantled.

http://www.montanadotwebcams.com/silver.htm
Title: Re: Montana
Post by: andy3175 on July 10, 2021, 02:54:09 PM
Downtown Billings sees conversion of one-way streets to two-way traffic on North 29th and North 30th Streets as of June 23, 2021. This is based on a study suggesting changes to the street grid: https://downtownbillings.com/wp-content/uploads/Downtown-Traffic-Study.pdf. More information in the following article:

https://www.kulr8.com/community/two-way-street-conversions-in-downtown-billings/article_c6a6ebb4-d4a3-11eb-9541-87996074ff7e.html

Quote
If you're heading to work on North 29th or North 30th Street, get ready to see traffic coming the other way Thursday (6/24/21). Both streets are being opened to two-way traffic now.

"We're implementing part of that plan, and we're kind of doing that in pieces, as budgets allow," City Engineer Mac Fogelson said.

That'll be the case between 6th Avenue North and Montana Avenue, as well. And there are even more plans for two-way traffic conversion.

"2nd and 3rd, from either Division all the way to 22nd, might be converted long term," Fogelson said.

City officials say this has been in the works since 2019, and several businesses along these streets have wanted the two-way roads for awhile.

"One of the benefits of the two-way traffic is to promote business access. So, everyone's experienced having to drive around the block with the one way traffic," Fogelson said.

You'll see signs for parking spots you have to back into. Officials say these will help in the long run and make it easier for passengers to get out of their vehicles.

"We've all experienced that feeling of backing out into traffic, and you're behind the big F250, and you have no idea what's coming," Fogelson said.
Title: Re: Montana
Post by: andy3175 on July 10, 2021, 03:10:26 PM
This article outlines the process to design and construct the Hungry Horse Bridge on U.S. 2 over the South Fork of the Flathead River. The bridge opened to traffic in 2018.

http://www.montana.edu/news/mountainsandminds/21174/calculating-a-connection

Quote
On highway 2 near the small town of Hungry Horse, a bridge crosses the South Fork of the Flathead River. At 840 feet long and nearly 50 feet tall, itís big as Montana bridges go. When completed in 2018, not even a cold December rain could deter people from gathering to celebrate. After more than five years of intense engineering and construction, the new bridge replaced a narrow one from the 1930s and fixed a hazardous bend in the highway. At the opening ceremony, local families listened to a state transportation official describe the project as an investment in safety. Bicyclists grinned as they tried out new bike lanes. Santa Claus made an appearance, and some revelers even danced on the freshly cured concrete. An hour or so later, traffic was rerouted and the first cars drove across.

Over the lifetime of the new Hungry Horse bridge, some will surely delight in its smooth, banking curve. Many, remembering the old span, will breathe a bit easier. Lives may be saved. Yet millions of people, heading to Glacier National Park or just going about their day, will zoom over the river without batting an eye. A hardworking highway bridge succeeds by largely going unnoticed. It is not fancy but economical. Surviving an earthquake or a flood, it doesnít make the news. It is almost designed to be taken for granted.

As with other everyday wonders, however, knowing all that goes into a bridgeís creation can inspire a fuller appreciation. The story of the Hungry Horse bridge is one of not only routine calculations but also moments of insight, of problem-solving and massive machines. And itís the story of several Montana State University civil engineering graduates whose paths converged on a project that would test their skills and determination. Their story is of a bridge that may appear ordinary but is in many ways exceptional.

ďIíve seen a lot of bridges,Ē said Zac Zupan, who earned his bachelorís and masterís degrees in civil engineering at MSU and served as Sletten Constructionís project manager for the Hungry Horse bridge. ďAs far as Iím concerned, this is one of the coolest bridges in the state.Ē
Title: Re: Montana
Post by: FrCorySticha on July 14, 2021, 09:03:22 PM
Downtown Billings sees conversion of one-way streets to two-way traffic on North 29th and North 30th Streets as of June 23, 2021. This is based on a study suggesting changes to the street grid: https://downtownbillings.com/wp-content/uploads/Downtown-Traffic-Study.pdf. More information in the following article:

Interesting that they're doing this. It makes sense, actually. Montana and 1st Avenues, and 4th and 6th Avenues as one-way pairs are great because they get you through downtown fairly quickly. The north-south one-way pairs are more of a nuisance than benefit.
Title: Re: Montana
Post by: hbelkins on September 23, 2021, 12:50:42 PM
Also, the reservation is not a specific time for entrance. It's a reservation that lasts for 7 days, and you can enter and leave as many times as you want during that period. This isn't a big deal, and it won't restrict people from visiting the park, so long as they do just a tiny bit of planning ahead.

This isn't entirely accurate. While yes, one entry is valid for 7 days, you MUST enter the park on the specific day you make the reservation for. So if you make a reservation for July 10, you MUST enter the park on July 10. You can return as many times as you want from the 11th through the 16th (assuming they aren't turning people away because it's at capacity), but ONLY if you entered the park on the 10th. You can't make a reservation for the 10th and then not show up until the 14th.

Your statement is untrue, as referenced by my own recent personal experience.

I was at Glacier last month. Our reservation was for the 16th. By the time we arrived at St. Marys, it was after 5 p.m. local time, so everyone was allowed in, reservation or not. My brother purchased the annual pass to enter the park, but was not asked to show his reservation. He had decided to go enter the park just in case the reservation needed to be activated on the date which it started.

We went back to the park the next day, during the reservation period timeframe, but not on the initial date. He showed his pass and the reservation, and was told he was good to go.

So no, you don't have to enter the park on the day specified on your reservation in order to be able to go in the next six days.
Title: Re: Montana
Post by: deathtopumpkins on September 24, 2021, 08:23:23 AM
Also, the reservation is not a specific time for entrance. It's a reservation that lasts for 7 days, and you can enter and leave as many times as you want during that period. This isn't a big deal, and it won't restrict people from visiting the park, so long as they do just a tiny bit of planning ahead.

This isn't entirely accurate. While yes, one entry is valid for 7 days, you MUST enter the park on the specific day you make the reservation for. So if you make a reservation for July 10, you MUST enter the park on July 10. You can return as many times as you want from the 11th through the 16th (assuming they aren't turning people away because it's at capacity), but ONLY if you entered the park on the 10th. You can't make a reservation for the 10th and then not show up until the 14th.

Your statement is untrue, as referenced by my own recent personal experience.

I was at Glacier last month. Our reservation was for the 16th. By the time we arrived at St. Marys, it was after 5 p.m. local time, so everyone was allowed in, reservation or not. My brother purchased the annual pass to enter the park, but was not asked to show his reservation. He had decided to go enter the park just in case the reservation needed to be activated on the date which it started.

We went back to the park the next day, during the reservation period timeframe, but not on the initial date. He showed his pass and the reservation, and was told he was good to go.

So no, you don't have to enter the park on the day specified on your reservation in order to be able to go in the next six days.

I was actually at Glacier myself in July.

But neither of our personal experiences is relevant, as the NPS website explicitly said you must enter on the first day of your reservation. The webpage has been taken down since ticketed entry ended September 7th though.

They very well may not have enforced such, but the website absolutely did say you needed to.
Title: Re: Montana
Post by: hbelkins on September 24, 2021, 01:40:32 PM
Also, the reservation is not a specific time for entrance. It's a reservation that lasts for 7 days, and you can enter and leave as many times as you want during that period. This isn't a big deal, and it won't restrict people from visiting the park, so long as they do just a tiny bit of planning ahead.

This isn't entirely accurate. While yes, one entry is valid for 7 days, you MUST enter the park on the specific day you make the reservation for. So if you make a reservation for July 10, you MUST enter the park on July 10. You can return as many times as you want from the 11th through the 16th (assuming they aren't turning people away because it's at capacity), but ONLY if you entered the park on the 10th. You can't make a reservation for the 10th and then not show up until the 14th.

Your statement is untrue, as referenced by my own recent personal experience.

I was at Glacier last month. Our reservation was for the 16th. By the time we arrived at St. Marys, it was after 5 p.m. local time, so everyone was allowed in, reservation or not. My brother purchased the annual pass to enter the park, but was not asked to show his reservation. He had decided to go enter the park just in case the reservation needed to be activated on the date which it started.

We went back to the park the next day, during the reservation period timeframe, but not on the initial date. He showed his pass and the reservation, and was told he was good to go.

So no, you don't have to enter the park on the day specified on your reservation in order to be able to go in the next six days.

I was actually at Glacier myself in July.

But neither of our personal experiences is relevant, as the NPS website explicitly said you must enter on the first day of your reservation. The webpage has been taken down since ticketed entry ended September 7th though.

They very well may not have enforced such, but the website absolutely did say you needed to.

They must have changed the wording, because that requirement was not present at any time when I viewed the page, or when my brother viewed the page and made the reservation.

They must have gone back and forth on their requirement, then.
Title: Re: Montana
Post by: KCRoadFan on December 10, 2021, 12:56:06 AM
One thing Iíve always wondered about the I-15/I-90 multiplex through Butte: why does it use I-15ís exit numbers instead of I-90ís? Given that I-90 is the dominant roadway at both splits, and the concurrency itself is oriented east-west, this makes absolutely no sense. What was MT DOT thinking?
Title: Re: Montana
Post by: Bruce on December 10, 2021, 04:47:21 AM
A research question: Can anyone pin down when I-90 was converted to a full divided highway in Montana? I read a claim that it was undivided with a soft median until the mid 1990s, but have not seen any newspaper sources to back this up.
Title: Re: Montana
Post by: Rothman on December 10, 2021, 06:59:36 AM
A research question: Can anyone pin down when I-90 was converted to a full divided highway in Montana? I read a claim that it was undivided with a soft median until the mid 1990s, but have not seen any newspaper sources to back this up.
I'd be really surprised if that were the case.  My family took a trip to Glacier coming from Yellowstone in about 1991 or 1992 and I'm pretty sure there was a soft median except for around Butte.  Still, real evidence could prove me otherwise.
Title: Re: Montana
Post by: roadfro on December 11, 2021, 02:35:59 PM
One thing Iíve always wondered about the I-15/I-90 multiplex through Butte: why does it use I-15ís exit numbers instead of I-90ís? Given that I-90 is the dominant roadway at both splits, and the concurrency itself is oriented east-west, this makes absolutely no sense. What was MT DOT thinking?

A lot of the time, when two routes are the same type of highway, the route with the lower number gets the milepost priority.

Nevada DOT does this with the US 6 & US 95 overlap in central Nevada between Tonopah and the Coledale Junction. US 95 is the through route at both "T" junctions and is the route the vast majority of the traffic is following, but the mileposts along the overlapping segment reflect US 6.
Title: Re: Montana
Post by: FrCorySticha on January 08, 2022, 11:24:09 PM
The bad weather that affected the Pacific Northwest also affected western Montana. Yesterday, westbound I-90 going up Lookout Pass was closed at St. Regis due to an avalanche on the westbound lanes about 7 1/2 from the summit of the pass. The eastbound lanes were still open, as was ID/MT 200, so westbound traffic was detoured from St. Regis to Thompson Falls and across to Sandpoint, ID.

I didn't want to risk not being able to get through eastbound, so I ended up taking the detour, which was in much better shape than the passes. Beautiful, fun drive too!
Title: Re: Montana
Post by: Kniwt on February 10, 2022, 11:59:49 AM
The Missoulian reports that MDT is advancing plans to improve -- but not four-lane -- US 93 between St. Ignatius and Ronan.
https://missoulian.com/news/local/hazardous-strip-of-highway-93-in-line-for-widening/article_4a9e7faf-5020-5f51-b70d-5a53379763bd.html#tracking-source=home-top-story

Quote
Montana Department of Transportation officials have reached the final planning stages of an expansion of the roadway, which crosses the wildlife-rich, waterlogged edge of the Ninepipe National Wildlife Refuge.

... The two-lane highway from 7.6 miles north of St. Ignatius to 1.25 miles south of Ronan often has just 100 feet of right-of-way, when the usual road width for that kind of road is 160 feet. In addition to passing close by numerous pothole lakes and ponds, the ground underneath is riddled with water features and other unstable formations. Plus there are numerous side roads branching off, adding to the traffic complexity.

An average 7,000 to 8,000 vehicles a day pass that section. The total grows about 35% during the summer season as tourists head for Flathead Lake, the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes Bison Range, and Glacier National Park.

... Expansion plans also include a separate bike-pedestrian path alongside the highway. The current design does not involve increasing to four lanes, due to ecological concerns.

(https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/missoulian.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/57/f57ca072-1cd0-5098-a1b6-2bb59e488dc7/620446fd14816.image.jpg)

Project website: https://www.mdt.mt.gov/pubinvolve/us93ninepipe/
Title: Re: Montana
Post by: Billy F 1988 on February 11, 2022, 11:45:53 PM
I mean, judging by the photo itself, what are the ecological concerns that prohibit expansion of this segment of Highway 93 to four lanes? I'm very curious.