A new highway between Rockvale and Laurel is almost ready! The highway was supposed to have its grand opening today, but because of all of the recent rain, crews have had to put that on hold.

It will have intermittent four-lane sections to allow for passing of slower vehicles. Officials say that it should be safer and more convenient than the old highway.

Bill Felton of the Montana Department of Transportation tells me the main work left to do on the highway is paving. 

He said, "So, we had about ten or twelve consecutive rain days that the contractor wasn't able to complete any paving operations. The driving force right now is getting the final paving done." 

The Montana Department of Transportation says about three to four weeks of paving remain. Felton said it's definitely satisfying to see the highway almost ready for use. 

He said, "I think it's a great connector for anybody that's commuting to Billings. We aren't going to have local traffic backed up anymore behind farm equipment or just slow drivers, or any of the problems that we had on the old two-lane road with the passing lanes and the climbing lanes, the truck traffic won't be holding up. I would expect a lot safer highway and possibly shorter commute times for people  depending on the traffic load."

During the last weeks of construction on the highway, Felton says they are asking people to remain patient.

The grand opening will be sometime this summer although an official date has not been announced yet.

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