The East Side Highway (Secondary-203) has been undergoing lots of work south of Stevensville this year. The project was started, then interrupted when the Department of Transportation had to change contractors, and has been going full-steam since then. It probably won't be completed until next year, but another section of the East Side Highway is demanding attention. And the Montana Department of Transportation is heading north of Stevensville to widen a 6-mile stretch.

As the map (see above) shows, the construction zone starts about four miles north of Stevensville, just before the turn onto the Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge on Wildfowl Lane. the work area continues north and matches up with the recently improved road (finished in 2014 with a roundabout feature) near Hidden Valley Road.

The new project will add a 12-foot center/left turn lane and will widen the existing road to include a bit wider travel lanes and four-foot gently sloped shoulders on either side. Engineers are going to work on drainage throughout.

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Then, there's that 90-degree curve at Rathbun Lane and Ambrose Creek Road. Engineers have a plan to flatten it. However, the department says before road construction begins, there will be right-of-way acquisition needed and the utilities will have to be moved in places. It's a major project and the MDT wants to explain the details at two meetings this next week.

Stevensville North Project Meetings:

  • In-person meeting will be at the Lone Rock School Tuesday, November 16 from 4:30 to 7 p.m.
  • An online Virtual meeting will be Wednesday, November 17, at noon. Registration is required and you can do that at this website.
  • Of course, there will be more information at the Missoula Division section of the MDT website.

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