Construction On Fairview-West Project To Begin

After eight years of planning, the Fairview-West project is set to break ground this week.

According to the Montana Department of Transportation's website,, the Fairview West project is a locally driven effort to reduce crashes by improving a segment of Highway 201 (MT 201) west of Fairview.

The project will cost just over $34 million. It will reconstruct six miles of roadway, including two miles of new alignment north of the Fairview Airport, to improve safety while alleviating the impacts of commercial truck traffic on streets of Fairview. A new intersection will be constructed as part of the realignment, creating a new junction of MT 201 and MT 200 north of Fairview.

MT 201 was identified for improvement in response to a large influx in traffic volumes and crash trends, primarily due to commercial truck traffic related to the Bakken and the desire to improve safety by bringing the roadway up to current design standards, wider shoulders, flatter side slopes, better sight distance, installation of centerline and shoulder rumble strips, pavement markings, improved signage, a roundabout at the intersection of MT 200 and MT 201, and other intersection improvements, including a complete reconstruction of the CR 350 intersection.

A new bridge spanning Second Hay Creek and the Lower Yellowstone Project Canal and a new drainage structure at the Third Hay Creek crossing will also be built. Spring of 2015 a study on an alternative alignment began. That summer a public meeting was held to present alternative alignments. The results of the study were published that fall and by the summer of 2016 the town of Fairview and Richland County agreed to the realignment. Preliminary engineering went on for a few years and in 2022 property was bought and the design was completed for the project.

In 2023, the construction of the project is set to begin. Originally, the plan was to break ground the third week of March but because of weather in other parts of the state, the project was delayed. When they do begin the work crews have 250 working days to complete the job. MDT project manager Jerry Phillips said it should take three seasons to complete the project. Most of it would be finished by the end of 2024 and the road will then be chip-sealed the following year when the temperature has risen high enough. For more information on the project look online at


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