Early this summer, work started on a large road project on Highway 269 south of Stevensville. But, all of a sudden, work stopped and the crews disappeared. The Montana Department of Transportation said that the contractor, FirstMark Construction, unexpectedly closed their business. So, the project was put up for bid again and now Schellinger Construction will start work Monday, September 27.

What is the timeline for the project?

The Stevensville Safety Improvements project is on the East Side Highway, stretching from North Birch Creek Road about 6 miles south to Pine Hollow Road. Unfortunately, the work will probably not be completed this year. The project will shut down for the winter and start up again in spring with completion expected next summer.

Kyle Schellinger of Schellinger Construction said, "Our team is committed to delivering this project with quality and efficiency. We will work hard to ease any concerns and get as much work done as we can before the snow starts."

What kind of work will be done?

The plan is to construct four-foot shoulders on both sides of the highway and flatten the roadside slopes. The intersection at Bell Crossing will change, with Willoughby Lane realigned and a new flashing light installed. Guardrails and bridge replacements will cause some lane closures and delays as work continues. And, at the end, there will be new pavement, road lines and new signs.

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John Schmidt, MDT District One Construction Engineer, said in a news release, "We are eager tp get started on this project again. We thank everyone for their patience with us throughout this process." There is a project hotline, available Monday through Friday from 9a.m. to 5 p.m., at 406 207-4484. And more information is at the Montana Department of Transportation website.

LOOK: See how much gasoline cost the year you started driving

To find out more about how has the price of gas changed throughout the years, Stacker ran the numbers on the cost of a gallon of gasoline for each of the last 84 years. Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (released in April 2020), we analyzed the average price for a gallon of unleaded regular gasoline from 1976 to 2020 along with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for unleaded regular gasoline from 1937 to 1976, including the absolute and inflation-adjusted prices for each year.

Read on to explore the cost of gas over time and rediscover just how much a gallon was when you first started driving.

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