Beginning this fall, the Montana Department of Transportation plans to start reconstruction of the bridge over the Yellowstone River, and the widening of I-90.

More than a week before icy road conditions contributed to a 30-car pile up on the Yellowstone River bridge, MDT held a virtual meeting to discuss the construction schedule, processes, and "general overview" of their plan to improve Interstate 90 in Billings so it meets "safety and capacity needs."

Credit; Montana Department of Transportation
Credit; Montana Department of Transportation

According to a MDT press release, there are three separate I-90 projects planned:

  • I-90 Yellowstone River Bridge ProjectMDT will widen and reconstruct Interstate 90 in Billings between the North 27th Street Interchange and the Lockwood Interchange from two lanes to three.
  • Lockwood Interchange Reconstruction: The project will also include widening I90 to three lanes in each direction between the Lockwood Interchange and the Johnson Lane Interchange.
  • Johnson Lane Interchange: Will result in a new arterial roadway that will connect Lockwood at the Johnson Lane Interchange to the Heights at the Highway 312/Highway 87 intersection. On I-90, a new Diverging Diamond Interchange will be constructed at the Johnson Lane Interchange.
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Other improvements the Montana Department of Transportation say will be included in the project are two irrigation crossings, lighting, signage, and upgrades to the off and on ramps. The reconstruction of the bridges over the Yellowstone River and the Talen Energy railroad spur line will also be completed during the project.

CLICK HERE to see the I-90 Yellowstone River Bridge Project Map.

Credit: Montana Department of Transportation
Credit: Montana Department of Transportation

With construction beginning this Fall, and completion planned for 2024, two-lane and two-way traffic will be implemented in the work zones during the months of construction. During winter shut down periods, the interstate will return to having all four lanes open, according to MDT.

Funding for these improvement projects comes from both federal money (88.5 percent), and state / local dollars (11.5 percent), according to the press release. The Montana Department of Transportation says they receive "no funding from Montana's general fund revenue" for the projects. The revenue for roads and bridges comes from "gasoline and diesel fuel taxes and apportioned to states through federal highway legislation."

MDT is welcoming comments about the upcoming I-90 Yellowstone River Bridge Project, and provides an online form for your feedback HERE.

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