Paradise Valley Corridor Study: US 89

study_area_US89About the Corridor Study: The Montana Department of Transportation (MDT), in partnership with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and in coordination with Park County, is developing a corridor planning study of US Highway 89 (N-11). The study will examine the highway from reference post (RP) 0.0 at the Yellowstone National Park (YNP) boundary in Gardiner, north to RP 52.5 south of Livingston.

The study will identify feasible improvement options to address safety and geometrical concerns within the transportation corridor based on needs presented by the public, the study partners, and resource agencies. The study will examine geometric characteristics, crash history, and existing and projected operational characteristics of the corridor. Existing and projected physical constraints, land uses, and environmental resources will also be analyzed.

The study will include a package of short- and long-term recommendations intended to address the transportation needs of the highway over the planning horizon (year 2033). These recommendations will assist the study partners in targeting the most critical needs and allocation of resources.

Montanans for Safe Wildlife Passage (MSWP) was identified as a stakeholder in this project and is working with the Corridor Study team to integrate wildlife considerations into the planning process. In particular, MSWP is requesting that MDT complete a full study of wildlife and safety mitigation options along the corridor.  Examples of other exemplary studies include:

Jackson Hole Highway Mitigation: Much of the highway infrastructure in the Jackson Hole, Wyoming area are likely to be reconstructed in the near future.  Viewing this as an opportunity to identify and prioritize those segments that might require mitigation for wildlife, the Jackson Hole Conservation Alliance commissioned a study by the Western Transportation Institute of Montana State University.  Based upon this research mitigation recommendations were identified for selected road sections in the Jackson Hole area.  Download the study.

Moran Junction to Dubois (US 26-287): Based upon a detailed wildlife movement study completed by the Wyoming Department of Transportation and Federal Highways Administration for a 38 mile long section of US 26/287 between Moran Junction and Dubois Wyoming; five wildlife underpass crossings and four multiuse underpass crossings were constructed as part of an overall highway reconstruction project.  The study included roadkill surveys, snow tracking of different species and an analysis of the existing crossing structures used by wildlife.  Download the study.

Trappers Point (US 191): The well-known mule deer and pronghorn antelope migration corridor of Trappers Point was the subject of an extensive wildlife movement study by Wyoming Department of Transportation, Federal Highways Administration and many other partners to develop effective wildlife crossing structures where the migration corridor intersected with a 23-mile stretch of US 191 between Pinedale and Bondurant.  This research project resulted in the construction of six wildlife underpasses and two wildlife overpasses, which became the first in Wyoming first.  Download the study. 

Wildlife-Vehicle Collisions and Connectivity in the Madison Valley: The Madison Valley of Montana is traversed by US 287 and MT 87 both of which may serve as a barrier to wildlife movement across the valley.  Currently research funded by the Montana Department of Transportation is underway to collect and map the pattern of wildlife-vehicle collisions in the Madison Valley of Montana.  The intent is that the results can be used to guide future highway design modifications and mitigation in order to allow wildlife to safely cross those highways and to protect public health and safety.  As GIS database will be the final product of this research. Download the study. 

I-90/Bozeman Pass Post-Fencing Wildlife Monitoring:  This project initiated by the Craighead Institute and subsequently funded by the Montana Department of Transportation, Federal Highways Administration and the Western Transportation Institute was a multi-year safety and wildlife connectivity study centered around Bozeman Pass and the reconstruction site of a Montana Rail Link bridge.  The study collected wildlife-vehicle collision (WVC) data before and after the construction of wildlife exclusion fencing to determine the effectiveness of the fence in reducing WVC’s.  The findings of the study determined that WVC’s decreased significantly along the fenced section of road way. Download the study.