The Blackfoot Valley Dispatch is the oldest newspaper devoted to Lincoln, Montana and the upper Blackfoot Valley and has been the best source for local news from Lincoln, Ovando, Helmville and Canyon Creek since 1980. With a circulation of nearly 600 in 37 towns across Montana and in 25 states, we reach an estimated 1500 readers each week. We are member of Montana Newspaper Association and are working hard to provide our readers with the best possible local news and advertising. We appreciate feedback, so let us know what you think and how we can improve.You can contact us at 406-362-4131.
Feb. 26 Headlines
Potholes in new highway surface being addressed
Educational and economic opportunities at heart of recent Base Camp discussions
LRFD Board granted deadline extension on trustee candidate filing
Letter: Transferring fed lands to state makes no sense
Letter: For Paul and Carolyn and all who know them
Legislative Roundup: With halfway point of the Montana Legislature approaching, lawmakers are trying to get bills across hallway to other chamber
Commentary: A look at SB 238 Education is the Best Bet
Lincoln Think Kindness campaign spreads the smiles
My Smart Mouth: Free Lunch
Any potato gardeners out there?
Abby Castagne honored with 2015 DAR Good Citizen award
Lynx end season with losses to Granite, Victor
Close game against Victor brings Lady Lynx season to end
Lincoln second graders share their thoughts on their favorite topics
40-mile rule reformed to increase veteran's access to non -VA care
Wide range of topics discussed at Government Day
Remember, letters to the editor, guest editorials and commentaries are welcome
We should have our photo site up and running someday!!!
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Potholes in new highway surface being addressed
Patching holes in a brand new stretch of highway isn’t something you expect to see, but last week Montana Department of Transportation employees assisted a Schellinger Construction crew in filling some sizeable potholes that had developed in the new asphalt surface of Highway 200 east of Lincoln.
Last summer the entire roadway from Abe Lincoln Road to the intersection with Highway 279 was widened, re-contoured and rebuilt by Schellinger, the primary contractor for the project. The final chip seal, planned for this summer, was supposed to be the only remaining work left to be completed on the new highway.
However, the appearance of the potholes is something that has become a concern for people who travel the stretch of road regularly since it will likely mean some additional work will be needed on the road this year.
Dave Hand, the administrator for Montana Department of Transportation District 3 in Great Falls said they’re trying to figure out what’s causing the potholes to form and said they’re working with Schellinger to deal with the situation.
“There are issues there. We’ve made the contractor aware of those issues, and they’ve come in and at least made temporary patches on those,” Hand said. “We don’t have enough information at this time to really know what the underlying cause of the problem is.”
Doug Wilmot, the construction engineer for MDT, said they were aware of some of the isolated problem areas last fall. “So, there were some that the contractor was aware of. He knew he was going to have to come back and fix (them).”
Matt Schellinger with Schellinger Construction, who was on hand last Thursday to oversee temporary repairs to the affected areas of the highway, said the development of potholes on new construction aren’t common at all. He believes the high moisture in the area is playing a role, and that it has been coming up from the subgrade through the ten-inch gravel layer under the new asphalt, resulting in frost heaves.
Wilmot said the MDT construction people are looking into the concerns people have, but said due to the time of the year temporary patches are about all that can be done for the time being.
Schellinger said until the weather warms up and they have access to hot mix asphalt, which is the primary type of asphalt used on the roadbed, they’ve had to use cold mix provided by Lewis and Clark County to make the temporary repairs. He said once hot mix is available in the spring they will make permanent repairs to the affected sections.
Wilmot said the issues are currently limited to isolated patches, but he said MDT would be looking at the whole project before it’s completed and noted that Schellinger is still under contract until the project is completed.
“We’ll figure out what’s good and what needs to have something done with it,” he said.
Area residents alerted Bill Frisbee, chairman of the Upper Blackfoot Valley Community Council, to the concerns about the state of the new road, and he’s hopeful the issue will be taken care of by Schellinger and the MDT.
“As with any big project there are bound to be problems. As long as those problems are recognized and remediated, then people should be happy,” Frisbee said.