Century Companies highway project going smoothly

Charlie Denison
A construction worker in a neon vest and white hardhat stands sideways in front of a view of disturbed dirt.

Century Construction Project Manager Guy Slaybaugh points out what the Montana Department of Transportation storm drain detention basin on Airport Road will resemble when it’s done. The large excavation is being done to prevent a large volume of water from collecting in the area. Century is also working to beautify the area.

Photo by Charlie Denison

As many Central Montanans have noticed, there is a lot of road construction going on in and around Lewistown. A lot of this construction is being done by Century, which won the bid for a large Montana Department of Transportation project along Highway 87, the Truck Bypass and Airport Road.

“Currently what we are doing is placing gravel in advance of paving,” Century Project Manager Guy Slaybaugh said. “The big push on a construction project is always paving, especially in Montana, where we have shorter construction seasons.”

Paving, Slaybaugh said, is scheduled for mid-September, but if there is inclement weather it may be pushed back.

So far, weather has not been too much of an issue, but storms have at times slowed the crew down.

“It seems about every time we’ve hit our stride we get a pretty good thunderstorm that sets us back a week,” Slaybaugh said, “but, other than that, I wouldn’t say there have been any challenges, outside of any one would expect on a project this size. I would say, however, this is a more urban project than we are used to. There are a lot of businesses affected by it, which takes more planning and attention to detail on our end. There are a lot of logistics involved.”

But so far, Slaybaugh said, the project is going well and moving forward.

“We are on schedule to hit our mark for when we want to start paving,” he said.


What’s going on by the MDT building?

The work on 87 and Airport Road in front of the MDT office has caught a lot of peoples’ attention, Slaybaugh said, and he wanted to take a moment to explain exactly what Century is doing out there.

“That big hole you see out there is a storm drain detention basin,” Slaybaugh said. “All of the new curve inlets and areas that create storm water after rain or snowmelt, all that water finds its way down to that detention basin or hole. From there, it will flow out and go underneath the new Airport Road and down and out that direction.”

Century started this project by digging the big hole and installing the storm drain. Currently, all the dirt people see coming is excavation for the footing.

“The two retaining walls will sit on large concrete footings, which is what we are prepping right now,” Slaybaugh said.

Storm drain detention basins are pretty common, Slaybaugh said, but they aren’t always this large. However, Slaybaugh said, the basin is necessary and beneficial. This particular basin will also be “aesthetically pleasing.”

“It will look nice when we are done,” Slaybaugh said. “The retaining walls will have an architectural stamp on them to give them the appearance of block walls. The concrete will be dyed, giving it color and texture. Also, there will be a paved walking path alongside the detention basin, which will include handrails.”

Slaybaugh said he expects to wrap up the storm drain detention basin project by the middle to the end of October, with finishing touches in November. Striping, painting on the highway and chip sealing will be done next spring.

In the meantime, Slaybaugh encourages people of the community to be patient and pay attention to the signs and the flaggers.

“We have to change where people drive, so we ask you to please stay alert,” he said.



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