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MDT Resumes Work On Poplar Roundabouts

The Montana Department of Transportation has resumed construction on a pair of roundabouts at Kirn Road and Fifth Avenue in Poplar, according to Shane Mintz, MDT Glendive district administrator. Construction of the roundabouts was substantially completed in 2019, allowing them to be utilized by motorists throughout the winter and early spring.

“With COVID-19 on people’s minds, I wanted to address any concerns folks in Poplar or the surrounding area might have about construction crews who have traveled from out of the region to work on the roundabouts,” Mintz said. “While road construction has been deemed ‘essential,’ MDT is taking COVID-19 very seriously and is working with crews to implement safety protocols.”

Knife River, the general contractor for the project, said employees follow CDC guidelines both on job sites and after hours and on weekends when staying in the local communities where they are working.

In addition, they follow and have implemented the following protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19: Wash stations have been set up for crews with soap and water. All employees have face coverings to be worn when working in the vicinity of others and all employees are wearing gloves. Equipment and tools are being wiped down during the day and at end of shift.

Knife River requests that the public not approach crews and also keep their distance. All employees and subcontractors are required to fill out a “return to work” form addressing COVID-19 and there are rules in place for anyone experiencing symptoms.

The remaining construction includes final concrete work, signage and landscaping, which will occur throughout spring 2020 with an anticipated completion scheduled for the end of June.

The traveling public should expect speed limits of 25 mph through the construction zone and possible flaggers or pilot cars to control traffic. When work begins on the landscaping, motorists should expect some slight traffic redirections or delays.

When traveling during construction season, MDT asks that motorists watch for the “cone zone” and for workers on the highway. These workers spend their days working a short distance from fast moving vehicles and while they make every effort to work safely, they are counting on motorists to pay attention, slow down and be careful passing through a work zone.

More information about Montana’s highway safety programs can be found at plans. For more information about the state’s response to COVID-19, visit covid19.

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