New layout marks overpass construction progress

By: 
Jenny Gessaman
Reporter
Two men in bright orange construction vests and hard had stand by a dark, square cement tunnel.

Lewistown West Overpass Project Manager Guy Slaybaugh, left, and Century Companies, Inc. Civil Group Vice President Ken Crouse, right, evaluate the progress on the pedestrian tunnel being installed near Airport Road Wednesday afternoon.
Photo by Jenny Gessaman

Lewistown’s summer started with detours and ground up pavement, but all those changes are progress on the Lewistown West Overpass Project, according to Project Manager Guy Slaybaugh.

He said drivers were already traveling on the new intersection between the truck bypass and U.S. Hwy 87.

“What you’re driving on, right here, right now, is the new alignment for Highway 87,” Slaybaugh stated.

He added work was 70-75 percent complete on the connector, the “one-way off ramp directing east-bound traffic into town” from Hwy 87.

Slaybaugh noted one evident change for west-end drivers was the lack of pavement. He explained crews were pulverizing the old pavement and then recycling the material into the beginnings of the new road.

“We’re basically crushing old asphalt and mixing it with old gravel to utilize it as part of the road base to build the new road,” Slaybaugh said. “There’s no need to tear that all up and haul it off site.”

Upcoming west-end work includes removing and replacing two sections of culvert pipes, as well as widening and raising the grade at Wolverine Creek just west of the intersection.

Slaybaugh reported other project components were nearing completion, noting both pedestrian tunnels for the Lewistown Trail System were installed. The tunnel near the intersection is complete and Civil Group Vice President Ken Crouse said crews were working on backfilling, or putting dirt around, the tunnel at Airport Road.

Airport Road is being realigned with Entrance Road across Hwy 87, and Slaybaugh stated the new water main extension required for the project was in place Wednesday.

New sidewalks on the east end of Lewistown are also part of the project, and Slaybaugh projected the sidewalks on both sides of Hwy 87, from Ridgelawn Avenue to 1st Avenue, would be completed in two to three weeks. He said crews would start finishing work, such as asphalt patching and reseeding, once all of the Lewistown West Overpass Projects sidewalks were complete.

Slaybaugh noted pavement for Lewistown Trail System’s city loop bike paths was scheduled for late summer. Trails from the Yogo Inn to Lewistown City Pool, and from Lewistown Junior High School to Lewistown City Cemetery, are included.

Overall, Slaybaugh said the Lewistown West Overpass Project was on task.

“I would say we’re on schedule on the sidewalks and ahead of schedule on the west end,” he said.

He added the project would be completed this fall, with chip sealing and permanent pavement markings to be added next spring.

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