Secondary Highway 206 Construction Pauses For Winter

Press Release General News Article

KALISPELL & COLUMBIA FALLS, MT – The Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) and Riverside Contracting have paused construction on Secondary Highway 206 (S 206) near Columbia Falls for the winter season. 

“Our construction season was shortened on this project because Riverside Contracting was pulled out to help repair the damage from the Yellowstone River flooding in the spring,” said Drew Fetters, MDT Missoula District Engineering Project Manager. “We were still able to get a lot accomplished this year including the primary tasks of flattening the slopes on the sides of the road and widening both shoulders.”

The purpose of this project is to address a roadway departure crash trend by adding safety improvements. Work completed in 2022 included widening the highway by adding 4-foot shoulders on both sides, reconstructing the sidewalks at the intersection of S 206 and US Highway 2, flattening the steep slopes on the side of the road, and adding mailbox turnouts. 

“There is still a lot of work to be done to finish the project,” said Fetters. “The contractor plans to begin work as soon as the weather permits next spring.”

Crews will return in 2023 to pave the shoulders and approaches, resurface the roadway, upgrade guardrails, apply a seal and cover (chip seal), install centerline and shoulder rumble strips, and paint final pavement markings. The project is anticipated to be completed in 2023.

Between 2014 and 2017, 116 roadway departure crashes were reported on this highway. Three fatalities and eight serious injuries were reported as a result of those crashes. From 2007 to 2013, the Montana Highway Patrol reported 171 crashes along the corridor, with the main crash trend being roadway departure crashes (78 crashes).

To stay up to date on this project, visit www.mdt.mt.gov/pubinvolve/secondary206.

To sign up for construction updates, text HWY206 to 22828 for email updates or text HWY206 to 866-434-0866 (toll-free) for text message* updates. Questions and comments can be sent to brandon@rbci.net or by phone at 406-369-6205.

Current construction information, width restrictions, and road conditions throughout Montana can be found at: www.511mt.net.

*Texting alerts are not managed by MDT and may have different privacy and security policies. For more information read the SimpleTexting Privacy Policy by visiting: https://simpletexting.com/privacy-policy/.

Don’t Crowd the Plow!

While driving, be on the lookout for snowplows and give operators room to work. Many plows are hit by private vehicles each winterwith the potential to cause harm to all parties involved. The plow truck and operator are taken out of service immediately following an incident.


Drive safely this winter and keep these tips in mind:

· Don’t pass a plow when the TowPlow is deployed. The operator will periodically rotate the TowPlow back in line with the truck to allow vehicles to pass.

· Be aware that, where there is one plow working, others may be nearby. The snow cloud created by one plow may obscure presence of additional plows in adjacent lanes.

· When approaching a snowplow from the rear, reduce speed immediately.

· When approaching an oncoming plow, don’t crowd the centerline.

· Be patient. Plow operators know where they can pull over to let vehicles pass, but remember, the road in front of the plow is likely not as clear as the road behind it.


MDT has tools to help plan for conditions so you can reach your destination safely. Find more plow safety information and winter driving tips at https://mdt.mt.gov/visionzero/people/winterdriving.aspx. Current construction information, width restrictions, and road conditions throughout Montana can be found at:  [511mt.net]


Alternative accessible formats of this document will be provided on request. Persons who need an alternative format should contact the Office of Civil Rights, Department of Transportation, 2701 Prospect Avenue, PO Box 201001, Helena, MT 59620. Telephone 406-444-5416 or Montana Relay Service at 711.

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