Construction to Begin on Blacktail Road

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May 02, 2018
Construction to Begin on Blacktail Road
 
Kalispell, MT, May 2, 2018 - Phase 2 of the Blacktail Road Restoration and Stabilization Project will see construction begin in May.  The Flathead National Forest, in coordination and partnership with the Western Federal Lands Highway Division of the Federal Highway Administration, Flathead County and through support of the community of Lakeside, secured funding for this project through the Federal Lands Access Program, which is intended to improve access for recreation and economic opportunities from county or state, onto federal lands.  The US Forest Service and Flathead County also provided significant matching funds.  “Anytime access is improved, it adds to the economic viability of the local community,” stated Chip Weber, Flathead National Forest Supervisor. “It’s always good to see strong partnerships come together for the greater good.” 
N.A. Degerstrom, Inc. out of Spokane, Washington was awarded the contract; and several local companies, including LHC, Inc., CMG Engineering, and Glacier Precast, will be providing sub-contractor support for the project.  Work is currently slated to begin in mid-May and be completed by mid-October.  To accommodate weekend recreational use of Flathead National Forest, construction activity will take place Monday through Friday. Additionally, one lane for public travel will remain open with delays limited to 20 minutes or less during construction activities.  Lakeside-Somers Chamber of Commerce President, David Fetveit says, “The Lakeside community is thrilled about this project moving forward.  Public access to Blacktail Mountain is critical to our local residents and seasonal visitors.  This paving project is improving access to this significant natural resource year-round, and stay hopeful for ultimately enjoying paved access all the way to the top!”
Blacktail Road, Road #917 is located within the Island Unit of the Swan Lake Ranger District in Flathead County, west of Flathead Lake.  The road serves as the primary access to National Forest System lands in the Blacktail Mountain area, providing access to the Blacktail Mountain Ski Area, motorized and non-motorized trail systems, and the Blacktail Mountain Nordic Cross-Country Ski Trail System.  Blacktail Road is also a primary route for Forest Service fire and vegetation management activities in the area, provides access to the communication facilities on top of Blacktail Mountain, and provides access to adjacent private homes and lands.   Dave Prunty, Flathead County Public Works Director said, "Not only is this a big win for the community, it will certainly enhance the County road maintenance in this area. By improving the road, it makes it easier for the County to maintain and offers additional safety benefits for private property owners and recreational users alike.”
Total project activities include reconstruction of 2.8 miles of existing gravel road to asphalt, slope stabilization and revegetation, roadway drainage improvement, and replacement of two stream crossings to allow for aquatic organism passage. 
As always, please be safe and cautious when travelling through construction areas, and obey all signage and construction personnel instructions.
For more information, please call Gary Danczyk at 406-758-5268.  To receive weekly project and traffic updates via the FHWA e-Newsletter please contact Carolyn Sourek at Carolyn.Sourek@dot.gov.

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