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Arrow Montana Demonstration Project: Innovative Culvert Rehabilitation Using Trenchless Technologies

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A questionnaire consisting of four questions was sent to 151 residents around the project construction:

  1. Have you traveled MacDonald Pass during the recent construction?
  2. Was traffic control easy to follow through the construction zone?
  3. Did traffic control seem safe?
  4. Please rate your overall travel experience through the construction zone.

Ninety-seven questionnaires were returned (about a 63 percent rate of return). The figures and tables on the following page document the results of surveys before, during, and after construction. Also included are the comments received from all respondents.

2008 Macdonald Pass Construction Survey Results.

Comments Before Construction

  1. The only construction that I'm aware of so far has been the highway painting. I didn't drive the pass during that work.
  2. I went over the pass on June 4, but did not notice any construction at that time.
  3. I've traveled over the pass quite a bit, but didn't see any construction.
  4. Drove the pass on 6/11/08, we had lots of snow but the road was not plowed at all, multiple accidents. Also the advisory sign always says drive safely and buckle up rather than updates on the road condition (for the past 2 years by the way).
  5. Remove signage when construction is completed. Seems like signage is up sometimes and no work.
  6. There was 1 day where it wasn't clear that up ahead were workers, even though there were markers on the road.
  7. Intrusion is minimal and speed zone is reasonable... nothing more frustrating than MILES at 45 mph when you're only repairing a couple hundred feet of bridge.
  8. It was just fine. No particular problems at all.
  9. The only recent construction I recall was the tree removal. The portion across from Frontier Town was in a tricky area for cars headed east. As I recall it is a sort of blind curve until you are right on it. Anyway, it seemed well marked and as safe as you could make it for drivers who are paying attention. Thanks for asking. I live west of Helena and travel the pass 2–3 times weekly.
  10. I haven't seen any culvert work yet. Right now the work crews are putting up railing. Could you replace the reflectors also? In a snow storm up there, sometimes that is how I see to stay on the road.
  11. This response related only to the west side of pass with blacktop crack repair. It might be good to have electronic signs tell of construction ahead and speed limits.
  12. All in all, very smooth construction project. Surprisingly easy!
  13. Traffic seemed to move pretty smoothly but the speed limit signs seemed to be up when no work was being done.

Comments During Construction

  1. I recently traveled the pass but saw no construction, but saw signs. I guess that's great.
  2. MDT staff and highway contractors do a superior job. Thank you.
  3. The construction workers deserve congratulations on their speedy work and good job.
  4. I did not encounter any construction, only the warning signs.
  5. I just have to remember to leave earlier to allow for construction/delays.
  6. We had no problems getting through.
  7. That was a loooooong construction zone from the base of the pass to Avon and when you were chip sealing! Also why the long zone near the bridge over the river and railroad track approaching Garrison? I've been through there 6 times lately and there has either been no construction or only very little.
  8. Please consider restricting one lane traffic to down grades. The heavy truck, camper and motor home traffic on Mac Pass results in 15–25 mph commutes.
  9. Traffic was slow and was stopped for more than 20 minutes.
  10. The new guardrails look spindly and the end cap (not the black and yellow side) startles me some mornings. In a certain light it looks like a deer. Just the one at the far end going east on the west side of the pass.
  11. All things considered, the traffic flow was good.
  12. Keep the speed low rather than low, resume normal and 5 minutes later low again!
  13. Really concerned about new metal guardrail after being in a head–on wreck and the heavier past guardrail saved me from going over the ledge. I am concerned about this experimental metal guardrail. Thanks to the Mac Pass road crew! They do an exceptional job keeping roads cleared and travelable.
  14. I travel at night regularly so I am anxious to see if visibility of the guardrails is better during whiteouts. I depend on reflectors to stay on the road!
  15. The new guardrails and reflectors are wonderful. Thanks!
  16. I think everything has been handled as well as it could!
  17. DOT does a great job!
  18. Didn't experience any delays. Traveling by motorcycle and still was safe, easy trip.
  19. I know this is not the proper forum, but there are some nasty holes right in the drive grooves—front end work could be costly.
  20. Keep up the good work

Comments After Construction

  1. Thanks!
  2. I have traveled the pass, but still not seen construction! What construction?!
  3. I sat there for 45 minutes wasting gas waiting for the pilot car.
  4. Flaggers were very polite. Delays were short.
  5. MDT does a great job! Thanks!
  6. Slow down zone near bridge over railroad seems excessively long on the Avon end. I have noticed many drivers ignoring the speed reduction, I suspect because they don't see a risk.
  7. I go early enough that sometimes the crew is just setting up.
  8. Some people were passing in the work zone near the bridge when it was 45 mph. Suggest "no–passing area" as vehicles were moving slow and pulling out.
  9. It is a fine job, actually.
  10. Sand on road in between wet and dry days seems excessive and poses other hazards if not cleaned up quickly.
  11. No construction?
  12. It wasn't as big of a project as I thought it would be—not much inconvenience at all!
  13. When there was another road turnoff from the highway it was hard to tell if you were to stay in the same lane or move to the next lane. Keep the speed the same from the start to the end of the construction, not 35, 60, back to 35 and then 60 again.
  14. We thought there would be more work than was done—so was minimal (paving??)—we're thinking the paved ditches will cause more rock to roll onto highways (not stopped by soft ground)—given we'll find out as we observe.
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Mary Huie
Center for Accelerating Innovation

This page last modified on 04/04/11

United States Department of Transportation - Federal Highway Administration