GRASS RANGE - The Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) would like to notify the public of plans to construct a roundabout at the intersection of U.S. Highway 87/Montana Highway 19 and Montana Highway 200 approximately one mile north of Grass Range in Fergus County.

The Grass Range project was originally nominated by MDT as a safety improvement project in response to high historical crash frequency and severity rates for the intersection. Previous attempts to mitigate the crash problem included overhead flashers, in-lane rumble strips, oversized speed limit reduction signs with flashing oversized warning signs, and oversized four-way stop signs. However, these interim attempts are not working as witnessed by camera data collected over 88 hours in four days in June.

The general traffic behavior recorded over this time indicates only a third of traffic came to a complete stop at the stop signs, with two-thirds making rolling stops or running of the stop signs at full speed. Tendency for rolling stops was also observed by left-turning traffic and platoons of vehicles. Approximately half of right-turning traffic traveled on the shoulder outside of the painted lane lines. Approximately one vehicle per hour ran the stop sign at full speed.

Historically, over a 15-year period ending in 2016, a total of 19 crashes were reported within the study area within this intersection, including four fatalities in three fatal crashes, four incapacitating injuries, and 12 non-incapacitating injuries.

To address the safety issue, MDT will pursue the construction of a roundabout as the most appropriate solution. Single-lane roundabouts have an excellent track record for virtually eliminating severe crashes, while moving traffic efficiently. "We take our mission of providing a transportation system and services that emphasize quality, safety, cost effectiveness, economic vitality and sensitivity to the environment seriously," MDT Director Mike Tooley said. "Central Montana is a military crossroads for many Veterans. This location will honor Veterans of Montana. If you're crossing paths with a Veteran here, thank them!" added Tooley. The project is scheduled for construction in 2018. 

For more information, please contact Billings District Administrator Stefan Streeter at (406) 657-0268 or Traffic and Safety Bureau Chief Roy Peterson at (406) 444-9252. Members of the public may submit written comments to the Montana Department of Transportation Billings office at P.O. Box 20437, Billings, MT  59104-0437, or online at:

www.mdt.mt.gov/mdt/comment_form.shtml

Please note that your comments are for project UPN 7848000. Alternative accessible formats of this information will be provided upon request by contacting the Office of Civil Rights, P.O. Box 201001, Helena, MT 59620; (406) 444-9229; fax (406) 444-7243, or e-mail to //compose.php/?to=aflesch@mt.gov" target="_blank" data-saferedirecturl="https://www.google.com/url?hl=en&q=http://compose.php?to%3Daflesch@mt.gov&;source=gmail&ust=1507643056153000&usg=AFQjCNFN_n4pxar4g96bL0sQGvXkF6ok2g">aflesch@mt.gov. Those using a TTY may call (800) 335-7592 or through the Montana Relay Service at 711.

Comments  

#1 Scott 2017-10-15 12:50
Why don't they do the really smart thing and build an overpass. Than no one has to slow down if they are not turning. Having lived in England with round-a-bouts they are not all they are cracked up to be. They slow the movement of traffic down and in many cases cause more congestion than stop lights.
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