Section of West Main closing tomorrow; expect delays on Highway 12

Get ready for a nearly month-long closure of West Main Street, starting tomorrow.

About half a mile of the street north from Grizzly and Oro Fino Gulch will close starting tomorrow and running through the early part of August.

Construction crews will be putting in storm water drainage pipes, a project costing up to $3 million.

Meanwhile, the second phase of work on U.S. Highway 12 between Helena and East Helena starts today.

The Montana Department of Transportation says you can expect delays of 10 or 15 minutes.

Heading east, the project begins at Shephard Way in Helena, extends over the railroad viaduct bridge, and ends at Wylie Drive in East Helena.

Crews will be working to add a raised median before and after the curve on the bridge. They will also repair the concrete surface and add a treatment to enhance traction on the road. Overhead lighting is also going to be installed.

The project is being undertaken because that stretch of highways had been identified as being a particularly dangerous stretch of road. The Highway Patrol says that 187 crashes happened on or near the bridge between 2005 and 2017.

The first phase of the project centered around adding concrete barriers on the bridge to prevent drivers from crossing the center line. That finished in May.

The Phase 2 work will take time; MDT estimates the second phase won’t be finished until November.