MTPR

transportation

The gas tax increase is expected to bring in an additional $29 million this year, more than half of which will go to cities and counties for local road-related construction.
Rusty Clark (CC-BY-NC-2)

Gas and diesel prices ticked up over the weekend as a new state tax went into effect. The new tax will increase every July 1 for the next six years, to fund maintenance on bridges and roads across the state.

A second ride-sharing company is hoping to set up shop in Montana. Officials with Lyft Inc. will testify before state regulators Monday, trying to prove they’re ready to join Uber in a Montana’s mobile app ride-hailing industry.
SDOT photos (CC-BY-NC-2)

A second ride-sharing company is hoping to set up shop in Montana. Officials with Lyft Inc. will testify before state regulators Monday, trying to prove they’re ready to join Uber in a Montana’s mobile app ride-hailing industry.

Senate Kills Cyclist Bill: 'They Think They Own The Highway'

Mar 13, 2017
A legislative proposal to slap a $25 tax on out-of-state bicyclists visiting Montana turns out to be a big joke, but it's going over like a lead ballon.
PD

The Montana Senate blocked a bill today that would have required vehicles going 35 miles per hour to give cyclists three feet when passing and five feet when going faster. House Bill 267 failed on a 24-26 vote. A motion by Majority Leader Fred Thomas, R-Stevensville to kill the bill indefinitely passed on a 29-21 vote.

A legislative proposal to slap a $25 tax on out-of-state bicyclists visiting Montana turns out to be a big joke, but it's going over like a lead ballon.
PD

A proposal to connect existing bike paths in western Montana received widespread support at a meeting on the Flathead Reservation today. The big hurdle now is securing funding.

The proposed 34-mile multi-use path would follow U.S. 93 from its intersection with Interstate 90 to St. Ignatius.

Starting Tuesday, January 3, construction crews will be temporarily squeezing one of Missoula's busiest bridges from four lanes down to two. Construction on the Madison Street Bridge is expected to finish in August 2017.
Edward O'Brien

Starting Tuesday, January 3, construction crews will be temporarily squeezing one of Missoula's busiest bridges from four lanes down to two. Pretty much everybody involved says the Madison Street Bridge project is going to be an enormous pain in the backside.

Harlowton Asks State Lawmakers To Increase Fuel Tax

Dec 19, 2016
The gas tax increase is expected to bring in an additional $29 million this year, more than half of which will go to cities and counties for local road-related construction.
Rusty Clark (CC-BY-NC-2)

The mayor and city council of Harlowton are asking state lawmakers to increase Montana’s fuel tax.

Earlier this month, Montana’s Department of Transportation said they’ll have to delay almost $150 million worth of road projects across the state due to a budget shortfall.

Remediation specialists are trying to contain a 7,000 gallon diesel spill in the Missoula rail yard.

Montana Rail Link detected the spill on Monday and issued a public announcement Thursday.

By Friday afternoon, cleanup crews had excavated 1,100 yards of contaminated soil. There is continued concern over whether the spill might affect Missoula’s aquifer. 

Montana capitol, Helena.
William Marcus

Senate Republicans in Montana released a plan today to tear down Governor Steve Bullock’s proposal for state funded preschool and instead start work on delayed state highway projects.

'Deer Here' sign at Montana Department of Transportation Composting Facility.
NORA SAKS/MTPR

It’s roadkill season in Montana.

Pete Servel is standing on the shoulder of a busy section of Interstate 90, about ten miles east of Missoula. Clad in an orange helmet and matching neon vest, he carries a shovel in his blue rubber-gloved hands and hunches over a pile of faceless fur and dried blood.

The Kalispell Bypass opened Friday, October 28, ahead of schedule and under budget.
Montana Department of Transportation

Driving the length of the Flathead Valley got a little easier Friday. The Kalispell Bypass along Highway 93 is finished. 

Missoulian Jared Broxterman says he likes the flexibility and pay of being an Uber driver.
Mike Albans

Last month Uber drove into Big Sky Country. The world-wide private ride-hailing company started service in Butte, Bozeman, Helena, Billings, Missoula, and Great Falls. That’s giving locals a shot at a new income stream, and residents more choices for public transportation.

Free Cycles needs to raise an additional $135,000 to buy their shop.
Mara Silvers

A Missoula nonprofit that gives away bicycles and helps people learn to fix them is under the gun to raise enough money to buy a permanent home in Missoula.

MT Traffic Fatalities Outpacing Last Year

May 24, 2016

The Montana Department of Transportation reports that traffic fatalities are outpacing this same period last year. That’s even before the start to the traditional summer driving season which begins with the Memorial Day weekend.

MDT Director Mike Tooley says as of May 16, 2016, 61 people, or 19 ahead of the same period last year, have lost their lives in vehicle crashes in Montana.

Missoula International Airport.
Alaskaair (CC-BY-SA-3)

Missoula International Airport is a very busy place these days, and major construction projects are planned to keep pace with the growing demand.

The gas tax increase is expected to bring in an additional $29 million this year, more than half of which will go to cities and counties for local road-related construction.
Rusty Clark (CC-BY-NC-2)

The Missoula Chamber of Commerce hasn’t yet taken a position on a possible 2 cent local option gas tax. But Sam Sill, the Chamber’s Government Affairs Director, says the proposal brings two intriguing ideas to the table.

States Could Lose Federal Highway Funds Without Congressional Fix

Jul 23, 2015
If Congress fails to act by July 31, the federal government won’t have the ability to process transportation funding payments that were promised to states.
(PD)

The clock is ticking again toward the expiration of the current federal transportation funding bill. This week, the Senate agreed to debate a long-term funding bill. If Congress fails to act by July 31, the federal government won’t have the ability to process transportation funding payments that were promised to states.

Sen. Steve Daines.
Courtesy photo

Montana’s Senators are back from Washington and gathering input on transportation and timber issues.

Friday Democrat Jon Tester convened several panels in Helena to prepare for when the federal highway bill expires in May. He invited representatives from transportation, Chamber of Commerce and agriculture and construction companies to talk about the importance of good highways and bridges in Montana.