(Helena, MT) - Montana State Parks (stateparks.mt.gov) announced today that units from the MontanaArmy and Air National Guard will be partnering with Montana State Parks to help repair the main switchback road at Makoshika State Park in Glendive, starting on Monday, July 14.
This is an approved project under the Department of Defense Innovative Readiness Training program.
For safety reasons, the switchback road will be closed to all traffic during the day. The switchback roadis expected to be open to motorized traffic on evenings and weekends during this construction period. The public can access the park on foot only, during the day, using the Switchback Trail.
This Innovative Readiness Trainingproject involves two Montana National Guard units that includes; eighty-eight Montana Army National Guard Soldiers from the 260th Engineer Company based out of Miles City, and fifteen Airmen from the Montana Air National Guard 219th REDHORSE Squadron based out of Great Falls. These two units will participate in 3 rotations, over a 6-week period, working 7 days a week. They will strip the asphalt, move the remaining gravel up the hill and build a 3:1 slope. Once the military work is completed, a private contractor, Thompson Construction, Inc. from Libby, Montanawill complete the process. Road completion is estimated to take an additional 10 weeks. The road is expected to be open to motorized traffic on evenings and weekends during this construction period, as well.
Heavy rainfall in 2011 created soil sloughing causing the existing road at the switchback to be damaged and closed. A temporary road was put into place in 2012. The switchback is the main way to access the badlands features of this state park.
Today, a pre-construction meeting was held at the park with Major Todd Mortag of the 219th REDHORSE Squadron, Capt. Zane Curtis the Commander of the 260th Engineer Company,Park Manager Nathan Powell and Darcy Yakoweshen, Design & Construction Project Manager for Fish, Wildlife & Parks.
This partnership between Montana State Parks and the Montana National Guard provides military readiness training for the Soldiers and Airmen and helps make the project affordable.
Makoshika is the largest state park in the 55 Montana state park system. In 2013, there were nearly 60,000 visits to this state park. The park features badland formations and the fossil remains of dinosaurs. Visitors can also enjoy a group use shelter, camping and a Visitor Center with educational and interpretive displays.
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