Good news for those of you that drive to Big Sky on a regular basis. The Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) announced today that after four months of construction, the Gallatin Guardrail Improvements project on U.S. Highway 191 is officially complete. This project improved the safety of this corridor, which saw more than 60 crashes between 2009 and 2013. Crews finished replacing 29,000 feet of guardrail with new, stronger and higher rail material. The roadway returned to normal two-way traffic today.

“This beautiful stretch of highway was shaped by the twists and turns of the Gallatin River, which also made it very dangerous,” Bill Fogarty, Butte District Administrator for the Montana Department of Transportation, said. “Going too fast on this road, especially at night or in snow, can be a fatal decision.”

This $1.7 million project was needed as vehicle impacts and weather conditions deteriorated the rail’s effectiveness over time. Crews worked on an 11.2-mile stretch of highway, removing the old guardrail and installing new guardrail. They also performed erosion stabilization efforts in 17 locations to ensure that if the guardrail is hit, the ground supporting the rail can sustain the impact and keep vehicles on the roadway.