Fast-Paced and Functional

As the Helena area population increased and the Custer Avenue corridor off of Interstate 15 became more urbanized, the interstate overpass proved to be a barrier to east-west movements for residents on the north side of the City of Helena. It was deteriorating, the adjacent storm drains were exceeded, and with the new developments and buildings in the area, the need for additional access to the interstate was obvious.

To address these growing pains on an expedited schedule, the Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) hired Morrison-Maierle designers to provide a solution that included a menu of bridge options that allowed project bidders to pick structural elements and construction methods that worked together in a seamless fashion. In addition to the overpass, the interchange project also improved roadways that provided safer and more direct routes with up-to-date standards while also solving a regional storm drainage problem.

Working hand-in-hand with MDT, Morrison-Maierle’s solution accomplished all of these aspects within the constraints of congested traffic, utility, and commercial enterprise corridor. The original estimate for the bridge closure was 90 days but thanks to planning and providing several interchangeable options, the new bridge and interchange were completed in 35 days and stand as the single largest urban highway and bridge construction project in the history of MDT.