The Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) is improving Interstate 90 (I 90) near St. Regis. The project begins about one mile east of Ward Creek Road (Exit 26) and ends about two miles east of the St. Regis Interchange (Exit 33). MDT rejuvenated approximately seven miles of concrete pavement, repaired shoulders, and chip sealed the St. Regis Interchange ramps (Exit 33) and the Two Mile Road Interchange ramps (Exit 30). Construction began in April 2021 and is substantially completed. Crews will return in 2023 to apply final paint striping, which will officially complete the project. Striping work is anticipated to take only a few weeks to complete and is not expected to have a major impact on traffic.
This section of I 90 was constructed in the late 1970s. Over the years, the concrete panels have shifted and settled causing small gaps in the surface. MDT rehabilitated the roadway using a construction process called a “Dowel Bar Retrofit.” This process improved roadway conditions by providing a smoother driving surface and extending the pavement life by 10-15 years.
Dowel Bar Retrofit Process
The dowel bar retrofit process ties the concrete roadway panels together to handle heavy loads better and helps prevent further shifting or cracking of the concrete. Crews cut grooves into the concrete surface between two panels, inserted steel dowel bars, and resealed the grooves with new concrete. The dowel bars add strength and durability to the panels. After dowel bar work was completed, crews used grinders to smooth the concrete surface.
What to expect during construction
For the safety of the public and construction workers, MDT encourages motorists to plan ahead, allow extra travel time, slow down and use caution through work zones on Interstate 90. Current construction information and road conditions can be found on the MDT Travel Info App at https://www.511mt.net.