The Montana Department of Transportation is making improvements on 10.3 miles of Whitetail Road (S-399) that have caused maintenance issues for years in Jefferson County.
“There are sections of Whitetail Road that have historically been problem areas for Jefferson County,” said MDT Engineering Project Manager Shane Watson. “Moisture-sensitive soils consisting mostly of silt and clay make the road difficult to maintain. Moisture from rain and snow causes the soil and the road to deteriorate quickly.”
The project also includes rebuilding about 1,000 feet of Little Boulder Road to improve the current intersection, according to spokesman Brandon Coates
Little Boulder Road will be realigned to intersect Whitetail Road at a right angle, which improves the sight distance of drivers at the intersection, said Coates.
Jefferson County identified Whitetail Road as a high priority roadway. Every year, the county spends a large portion of their road maintenance time and budget to keep Whitetail Road open.
Jefferson County put forth a good deal of work grading and plowing the road over the years, said county Roads Supervisor Michael “Bear” Taylor. Taylor did not have a dollar amount on how much was spent each year.
Jefferson County Commissioners Chairman Leonard Wortman said the road suffered from the impacts of small springs that caused the need for continual repair.
“MDT is removing the soil from the problem areas and replacing it with an improved gravel base,” said Watson. “Providing a solid foundation will allow the county to save a lot of time and money maintaining the road in the future.”
The project is divided into two segments. The first segment of the project starts near Antelope Lane and extends north on the gravel surface ending approximately a half mile beyond the National Forest boundary. The second segment of the project starts at the intersection of Whitetail and Hot Springs roads and continues north to the Jefferson County Fairgrounds.
The project is expected to be completed in fall 2020. Bjorn Johnson Construction from Missoula is the prime contractor.
To sign up for construction email updates, text BOULDER to 42828. Questions and comments can be sent to Brandon@rbci.net or by phone at (406) 465-3350. More information and project updates can be found at: https://www.mdt.mt.gov/pubinvolve/southbouldersouth/