Southside paving project nearly complete

Montana Department of Transportation’s Great Falls South-Urban project is just about complete.

Construction began in the area in April on 13th Street South by Fields Road, continuing west at the intersection with 55th Avenue South, and extending north 3.7 miles on Lower River Road, ending near Overlook Drive.

MDT starting pavement preservation project in south Great Falls [April 2020]

United Materials crews will return the week of July 20 to add the final roadway paint striping. Painting is a quick process and will not take more than a day of work to complete, according to MDT.

“These are well-traveled roads and required some maintenance measures to ensure they remain in good condition and to prevent complete road replacement in the future,” Jim Wingerter, MDT Great Falls District administrator, said in a release.

MDT regularly conducts pavement preservation projects to keep roadways from irreparable damage. The pavement preservation process includes an overlay on existing pavement or, when necessary, the existing pavement is ground away and replaced with new pavement. Both processes were used to complete this project, according to the release.

In addition to the new paving, bridges on Lower River Road and 13th Street were improved with new and extended guardrail. Guardrail was also added in key areas on Lower River Road to improve traveler safety.

Chip sealing has also been completed throughout the project area. Chip sealing is like the final layer of sealant during tile work or the topcoat of a manicure; they are the last step to ensure repairs are protected, according to the MDT release.