Chip-sealing planned on roads near West Glacier

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Travelers in the West Glacier area will have to endure delays beginning next week with the Montana Department of Transportation planning on chip-sealing roads.

According to the state agency, there will be two chip-sealing projects, including on Going-to-the-Sun Road and U.S. 2, that will begin Tuesday, July 9. It anticipates that work will begin as early as 6 a.m. and end as late as 8 p.m. Work should be completed by Friday, July 12.

The work on Sun Road will begin at the intersection of U.S. and run one-third of a mile to the bridge over the Middle Fork of the Flathead River.

The work on U.S. 2 will begin at milepost 140 and end at 142.6, east of Columbia Falls.

Residents, commuters and tourists are encouraged to plan additional travel time.

Speed limits will be dramatically reduced in the work zone. Signs will direct single-lane traffic and flaggers will be present during active work. Motorists are encouraged to plan ahead and should expect 15-minute delays for the Sun Road project and 30- to 45-minute delays for the U.S. 2 project.

“Conditions for chip-sealing have to be perfect — not too hot, and not too cold, or the seal won’t fully set,” said John Schmidt, district operations engineer for Montana Department of Transportation’s Missoula District. “With the weather in mind, MDT works alongside the contractors on the job to minimize the impact to travelers, especially during busy summer months.”

According to the Department of Transportation, chip-sealing provides a sustainable, cost-effective method of pavement preservation, particularly in a fluctuating climate that is found in Montana. The cost of chip-sealing is typically 15 to 20% of the overall cost of a major pavement rehabilitation project.

Motorists are reminded to watch for work crews and equipment as well as signs indicating reduced speed limits. Posted limits are enforced until signs indicate that the work zone has ended. Fines double in work zones when workers are present.

For the latest construction and weather reports, dial 511 and for the hearing impaired, the TTY number is 406-444-7696 or 1-800-335-7592.

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