Westbound I-90 Van Buren exit to close Wednesday

Van Buren exit construction

Starting Wednesday the exit from Interstate 90 to Van Buren Street in Missoula is going to be closed to traffic.

A $10.5 million Van Buren Street interchange project is installing two roundabouts and a sound wall along the interstate.

“Traffic will use the Orange Street interchange to get off and go into Missoula, as opposed to using Van Buren, so you’ll probably expect a little more traffic on the roundabout there,” said MDT engineering project manager William Maart.

Van Buren is one of half a dozen massive road construction projects that are in full swing in Missoula County right now. Also impacting the Van Buren area traffic is Montana Rail Link’s work on an overpass over East Broadway.

"I've lived in a lot of cities, but it just seems like the construction here is just everywhere you go. And it's just a delay after delay after delay," said Missoula resident RJ Lockwood.

"It’s always tough, especially they always start construction when it starts getting warmer and people are out, but it's got to get done some time, I guess," said Missoula resident Dennis Krueger.

So far most drivers are taking it all in stride.

“My new apartment’s just down the road here. They're doing the construction under the overpass right there, and it gets a little nuts sometimes, but I'm OK with it, because better roads mean faster traffic," said Missoula resident Kyle Jones.

"I haven't encountered much problems with it. Sometimes the traffic can be slow, but usually it's fine," said Missoula resident Keasha Johnson.

"I haven't really felt the delays as much as I thought I have, and they're doing a really good job at keeping traffic flowing, I feel like," said resident Colin Mender.

The project manager just asks that drivers slow down and pay attention to what’s going on in the construction zones. He says, so far, the Van Buren project is going along very smoothly.

Additional closures will happen throughout the summer, but those dates aren’t finalized yet.

As long as construction conditions and the weather cooperate, the Van Buren exit will reopen June 25.

The Montana Department of Transportation says the best times to travel through the Van Buren Street interchange construction zone are between 6:30 and 8:30 a.m. and from 6 to 8 p.m. during the week.

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