Montana Boosts Truck Parking on I-90 with New and Renovated Rest Areas

Montana Boosts Truck Parking on I-90 with New and Renovated Rest Areas

Montana’s Department of Transportation (MDT) is actively enhancing truck parking facilities along Interstate 90, its busiest freight corridor. A newly established rest area near Three Forks now features 35 truck parking spots, and work is underway to expand another site between Hardin and Billings to include 58 truck stalls.

In the past three weeks, MDT officials have kicked off renovations at the Hardin I-90 Rest Area while opening the Headwaters Rest Area to travelers. Montana oversees the upkeep of 36 public rest areas statewide. The renovation of the Hardin Rest Area, located at mile marker 476, targets both eastbound and westbound facilities with a completion date set for March 2025.

The redesigned Hardin rest area will see an addition of 30 westbound parking slots, which will include a new weigh station, and 28 slots on the eastbound side. Enhancements at the site will feature improved lighting, a fenced area for pets, and extensive video surveillance to increase security.

MDT’s interim director, Larry Flynn, marked the opening of the upgraded Headwaters Rest Area, noting delays from the expected completion last summer. The newly positioned Headwaters Rest Area replaces the old Bozeman site with superior facilities, doubling the parking capacity and including modern amenities such as a law enforcement office and improved visibility for safety. It is strategically located for easy surveillance by local law enforcement, who can monitor the site from U.S. Route 287.

This rest area is equipped with comprehensive LED lighting, private restrooms with emergency lighting, and surveillance systems that cover both the building and parking lots. It also hosts a law enforcement office for shared use by local and state police, including MDT Motor Carrier Services. Additional traveler-friendly features include enhanced restrooms, a toddler area, water fountains with bottle fillers, informative signs, a pet-friendly zone, and shaded outdoor seating.

MDT’s 2022 State Freight Plan highlighted the need for increased truck parking facilities, particularly around Three Forks and Butte, acknowledging I-90’s critical role in Montana’s freight transport network, expected to see significant growth in truck traffic by 2050. The plan also focuses on reducing the gap between rest areas to under 70 miles to boost safety and mitigate driver fatigue, identifying specific corridors and road segments where improvements are necessary.

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