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Road closures planned on Yaak Valley Road due to emergency work

| June 24, 2022 7:00 AM

The Montana Department of Transportation and GeoStabilization International is planning on beginning emergency rockfall work on the Yaak Valley Road Wednesday, June 29.

Due to recent flooding and rainfall, the rockface to the east of the road, also known as National Forest 508, near Yaak Falls is in danger of collapsing onto the road.

In the interest of public safety and to preserve the roadway, scaling work will be done over the next few weeks to remove dangerous rock outcroppings.

According to MDT, the nature of the work calls for some full road closures, but the department understands the need to allow continued use of the road. In an effort to reduce the impact on the public, contractors will plan for closures of two hours at a time. During daylight hours, traffic will be moved through the construction area roughly every two hours.

District Public Relations Specialist Megan Redmond said work will be done between about 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. each day with breaks to open the road and move traffic through on the even hours (8 a.m., 10 a.m., noon, 2 p.m., etc.).

Contractors will break for the holiday weekend with no work on July 2-4, and return again on Tuesday, July 5.

Redmond said work will not be done on the July 4 weekend, but the road will be open for travel. The goal is to have work done in about three weeks.

The department said if it's possible, the road will be re-opened to two-way traffic at reduced speeds at night. Travelers can expect delays along with reduced speeds, and single lane traffic during daytime hours. Traffic controls will be in place for safety. The department encourages the public to be cautious at all times and leave additional time for travel.

For more information, call Redmond at 406-396-1978. Also, the department's mobile app, “MDT 511” may be downloaded or visit mdt511.com and check the route.

For those who are driving and want to check in, pull safely off the road and dial 511. Tune in to local radio stations and watch for variable message signs along the route.