Interstate 90 in Montana

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Interstate 90 marker

Interstate 90
Riverbend North
I-90 highlighted in red
Route information
Maintained by MDT
Length 554.10 mi[1] (891.74 km)
Major junctions
West end I-90 at Idaho state line
 
East end I-90 / US 87 at Wyoming state line
Location
Counties Mineral, Missoula, Granite, Powell, Deer Lodge, Silver Bow, Jefferson, Broadwater, Gallatin, Park, Sweet Grass, Stillwater, Yellowstone, Big Horn
Highway system
US 89US 91

Interstate 90 in Montana (I-90) is a portion of the east–west transcontinental Interstate 90 across the northern United States, linking Seattle to Boston. The portion in the state of Montana is 554.10 miles (891.74 km) in length, passing through fourteen counties in central and southern Montana.

Route description[edit]

Mineral County[edit]

Interstate 90 enters Montana and Mineral County from Shoshone County, Idaho over the 4,725-foot (1,440 m) high Lookout Pass, which traverses the Coeur d'Alène Mountains of the Bitterroot Range, and immediately has its first interchange, a partial cloverleaf serving extreme northwest Mineral County and access to Lookout Pass Ski and Recreation Area. The highway continues southeasterly through woodlands, paralleling the St. Regis River, before meeting the Dena Mora (Lookout Pass) rest area 4.7 mi (7.6 km) east of the Idaho–Montana border.[2] About a 12 mi (0.8 km) from the rest stop is a diamond interchange, serving a small minor road into the St. Joe National Forest in Idaho.

The highway continues, winding through the woodlands until another diamond interchange, serving the small unincorporated community of Saltese. Continuing east for about 6 mi (10 km), each direction diverges for a small distance before returning side to side for a diamond interchange serving the unincorporated community of Haugan.[3][4]

Two miles (3 km) after Haugan, I-90 intersects the census-designated place (CDP) of De Borgia, continuing southeasterly, intersecting several minor roads, before reaching the CDP of St. Regis and Montana Highway 135 (MT 135). The highway stops paralleling the St. Regis River, and begins to parallel, and cross over several times, the Clark Fork River. Superior, the county seat, is intersected before the highway turns south through the Quartz Flats rest area, located 58.2 mi (93.7 km) from the Idaho border.[2] After leaving the rest area, the highway straightens out, heading easterly. The highway continues east before exiting the county, just south of Alberton.[3][4]

Missoula, Granite and Powell counties[edit]

I-90 in Granite County, facing east

Entering Missoula County, the highway intersects Alberton, before continuing easterly through Huson and MT 263. The highway continues southeast before intersecting the concurrent highways U.S. Route 93 (US 93) and MT 200, which join I-90 from the west. The three highways continue into the county seat of Missoula, where at the first exit, US 93 leaves on the western border of Missoula and travels through Orchard Homes. The next two exits travel into downtown Missoula, while the last exit serves East Missoula. US 12 joins I-90 and MT 200 exits to the north of the highway outside of Missoula, paralleling the Blackfoot River as I-90 continues east, following and then intersecting Montana Secondary Highway 210 (S-210) in Clinton. The Bearmouth rest area, 142.8 mi (229.8 km) from the Idaho border, is intersected before crossing the Missoula–Granite County border.[2][3][4]

After entering Granite County, I-90 has an interchange with an access road to the Garnet Back Country Byway,[5] providing access to the Garnet Range on the west slope of the Rocky Mountains. The highway passes north of the Lolo National Forest while headed easterly. The highway continues through northern Granite county, intersecting MT 1 before exiting the county entering Powell County. Thirteen miles (29.92 km) after entering the county, I-90 intersects MT 272, which clips the eastern segment of the Lolo National Forest, before the seasonal Gold Creek rest area is intersected.[2] Garrison is northeast of the highway as US 12 ends its concurrency, traveling north from I-90 towards the state capital of Helena. I-90 turns south, paralleling former Northern Pacific Railway trackage,[6] before intersecting S-275 and the county seat, Deer Lodge. Continuing south, I90 exits Powell County at Race Track.[3][4]

Deer Lodge, Silver Bow and Jefferson counties[edit]

Interstate 90 bisects the northern tip of Deer Lodge County, in a southwesterly direction. Galen and S-273 are intersected, before the highway passes west of the Warm Springs State Wildlife Management Area. After passing the wildlife management area, the highway passes by Warm Springs and MT 48. Just northwest of the Deer Lodge–Silver Bow County border, I-90 intersects MT 1.[3][4]

Fairmont Hot Springs, accessible via S-441 is the first exit in Silver Bow County on I-90, as the highway starts to turn back towards the east. Ramsay is located in the southwest corner of the interchange where I-15 becomes concurrent with I-90 through Butte. On the western edge of Butte, I-115 continues east into town, as I-15/90 turns southeast, bypassing most of downtown Butte. An interchange with MT 2 serves the Bert Mooney Airport before I-15/90 split just east of Butte, with I-15 continuing north over the Continental Divide over the 6,368-foot (1,941 m) high Elk Park Pass, which straddles the Silver Bow–Jefferson County border. I-90 heads south then east, also entering Jefferson County, passing over the divide at Homestake Pass which is 6,375-foot (1,943 m) high. Jefferson County has interchanges with S-399 east of Pipestone and S-359 east of Cardwell before meeting the Jefferson–Broadwater County border.[3][4]

Broadwater, Gallatin and Park counties[edit]

I-90 through Bozeman Pass

There is only one exit along I-90 in Broadwater County, linking MT 2 in the south and US 287 north of the highway before crossing the Broadwater–Gallatin County border at the Missouri River. I-90 parallels S-205, bypassing the towns of Trident, Logan, Manhattan and Belgrade on the north of the highway. A new interchange was constructed just east of Belgrade (Exit #299)that services Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport to the north and the western area of the city of Bozeman. MT 85 travels south from I-90 in Belgrade, providing access to Bozeman Hot Springs. The highway then enters the city of Bozeman, the county seat, and intersects and becomes concurrent with US 191. I-90 exits the county at the Gallatin–Park County border at 5,760-foot (1,760 m) high Bozeman Pass. US 89 intersects I-90 in the county seat of Livingston, and passing over the Yellowstone River. The highway continues northeasterly, paralleling the river, intersecting S-295 before crossing the Park–Sweet Grass County border.[3][4]

Sweet Grass and Stillwater counties[edit]

West of Park City facing west

Still paralleling the Yellowstone River, I-90 travels northwest intersecting S-298 and US 191 in the county seat of Big Timber. The highway turns back southeast, passing south of Greycliff and the Greycliff rest area, located 380.9 mi (613.0 km) from the Idaho border.[2] The highway passes through the Sweet Grass–Stillwater County border just west of Reed Point. After passing into Stillwater County, I-90 crosses over the river, and enters the county seat of Columbus, intersecting MT 78 south of the highway and S-306 on the north side of the highway. The highway is titled the Robert E. Ewing Jr. Memorial Highway between mileposts 410 and 424.[7] I-90 intersects the Columbus rest area, 418.8 mi (674.0 km) from the Idaho border,[2] followed by Park City before exiting Stillwater County.[3][4]

Yellowstone and Big Horn counties[edit]

US 212 becomes concurrent with I-90 just east of Laurel before entering the county seat of Billings. I-90 Bus. passes into town as the main freeway travels south of Billings and bisects Billings Heights and Lockwood intersecting MT 3 and US 87, which joins the I-90/US 212 concurrency. On the extreme eastern end of Billings, the three highways intersect the beginning of I-94, which heads northeast towards North Dakota, while I-90 turns southeast into Big Horn County. Immediately after entering Big Horn County the three highways pass the seasonal Hardin rest area.[2] Entering Hardin, the county seat, the three highways intersect S-313 and MT 47. S-313 provides access to Yellowtail Dam, while MT 47 connects back to I-94. After exiting Hardin, I-90 turns south, entering the Crow Indian Reservation and intersects S-384, before reaching Crow Agency. Crow Agency is home to the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument and Reno–Benteen Battlefield Memorial, which are passed after US 212 departs to the east. Continuing south, I-90/US 87 parallels S-451 and the Little Bighorn River, passing by Garryowen, Benteen, Lodge Grass and Wyola before exiting the state of Montana and entering Sheridan County, Wyoming.[3][4]

Expansion of the Billings area corridor[edit]

The 2012 Billings area I-90 corridor planning study recommends many improvements to the corridor from Laurel through Lockwood, including construction of new east and westbound bridges over the Yellowstone River, with each bridge having three to four traffic lanes. Also recommended are construction of additional eastbound and westbound traffic lanes from Shiloh to Johnson Lane and reconstruction and widening of many of the bridges, interchanges and on-off ramps along the corridor at an estimated cost of $114 million.[8]

History[edit]

Interstate 90 replaced US 10 between Livingston and the Idaho border,[9] and before that, the Yellowstone Trail.[10]

Until 1995 in Montana near the Idaho border, I-90 was not a divided highway for a few stretches, having only a narrow paved median.

From 1995 until 1999, the daytime maximum speed limit in Montana was "reasonable and prudent." As of October 1, 2015 the daytime and nighttime speed limits on Interstate Highways are 80 miles per hour (130 km/h) for cars and light trucks and 65 miles per hour (105 km/h) for heavy trucks, except within urban areas, where the maximum speed limit is 65 mph for all vehicles, day or night. [11][12]

According to an article in the Missoulian, dated September 28, 2015, "drivers headed east from Idaho on I-90 will be restricted to 75 mph for the first 34 miles, from Lookout Pass to just east of St. Regis. After St. Regis, there’ll be an 80 mph limit for the next 60 miles past Superior, Alberton and Frenchtown. The 20-mile zone around Missoula starts a couple of miles west of the Wye, where it drops to 75. That decreases to 65 mph within the Missoula urban area, then it becomes 75 again near the eastbound East Missoula on-ramp. The 80 mph stretch resumes roughly seven miles later at Turah and remains in place to Butte, where the speed limit remains at 65 mph." [13]

On I-90, at Exit 0 (right on the MT/ID border) is the Lookout Pass Ski Area, and one exit east of there is the Hiawatha Trail (rails-to-trails).

In 1996, a section of I-90 was closed for nineteen days due to a train derailment and chlorine spill near Alberton, Montana.[14]

Exit list[edit]

CountyLocationmi[15]kmExitDestinationsNotes
MineralLookout Pass0.0000.000 I-90 west – Coeur d'AleneContinuation into Idaho
0.0770.1240Lookout PassLookout Pass Ski and Recreation Area
Taft5.5808.9805Taft Areaaccess to St. Regis (Sohon)/Mullan Pass, St. Paul Pass Tunnel, and Route of the Hiawatha rail trail
Saltese10.41816.76610Saltese
Haugan16.54126.62016Haugan
De Borgia18.75230.17818De Borgia
Henderson21.82035.11622HendersonOld Mullan Road/Mullan Gulch Road to St. Regis
Drexel25.21640.58125Drexel
26.20742.17626Ward Creek RoadEastbound exit and entrance
29.94048.18430Two Mile Road
St. Regis33.24053.49533 MT 135 – St. Regisseasonal access to Avery via the St. Joe River Scenic Byway[16]
Sloway37.01659.57137Sloway Area
42.24767.99043Dry Creek Road
Superior46.75175.23847 S-257 – Superiorseasonal access to Headquarters
Lozeau54.65387.95555Lozeau, Quartz
Tarkio60.97198.12361Tarkio
Crystal Springs64.818–
65.565
104.314–
105.517
65Crystal Springs
66.055106.30566Fish Creek Road
Cyr69.483111.82270CyrWestbound exit and eastbound entrance
74.328119.61975 I-90 Bus. east – Alberton
MissoulaAlberton76.809123.61277 I-90 Bus. west / S-507 (Petty Creek Road) – Alberton
81.765131.58882Nine Mile Road
Huson84.325135.70885 S-574 – Huson
Frenchtown88.888143.05189 S-263 – FrenchtownMullan Road to Missoula
Wye95.483153.66596 US 93 north / MT 200 west – KalispellWest end of US 93 / MT 200 overlap
99.091159.47299Airway Boulevard
Missoula100.867162.330101 I-90 Bus. east / US 93 south (Reserve Street) – HamiltonEast end of US 93 overlap
103.930167.259104Orange Street
104.794168.650105 I-90 Bus. west / US 12 west (Van Buren Street)West end of US 12 overlap
106.419171.265107East Missoula
Bonner109.634176.439109 MT 200 east – Bonner, Great FallsEast end of MT 200 overlap
Turah113.519182.691113Turah
Clinton120.423193.802120Clinton
Rock Creek125.475201.932126Rock Creek RoadRock Creek Road Scenic Byway
129.868209.002130Beavertail Road
GraniteBearmouth137.524221.323138Bearmouth Area
Drummond152.802245.911153 MT 1 – Drummond, PhilipsburgEastbound exit and westbound entrance
153.727247.400154 To MT 1 – Drummond, PhilipsburgWestbound exit and eastbound entrance
PowellJens161.637260.130162Jens
Gold Creek165.360266.121166Gold Creek
Phosphate169.327272.505170Phosphate
Garrison173.471279.175174 US 12 east – Garrison, HelenaEast end of US 12 overlap; Eastbound exit and westbound entrance
174.656281.082175 To US 12 east – Garrison, HelenaNo westbound entrance
178.245286.858179Beck Hill Road
Deer Lodge183.625295.516184 I-90 Bus. east – Deer Lodge
186.640300.368187 I-90 Bus. west – Deer LodgeNo westbound entrance
Racetrack193.861311.989195Racetrack
Deer LodgeGalen196.271315.868197 S-273 – Galen
Warm Springs200.264322.294201 MT 48 – Warm Springs
Opportunity206.336332.066208 MT 1 – Anaconda, Opportunity
Silver Bow209.806337.650211 S-441 – Gregson, Fairmont Hot Springs
Ramsay214.860345.784216Ramsay
Nissler217.337349.770219 I-15 south – Dillon, Idaho FallsWest end of I-15 overlap; I-15 exit 121; exits in the I-15 overlap follow I-15
Rocker218.408351.494122Rocker
Butte220.237354.437124 I-115 east / I-15 Bus. north / I-90 Bus. east – City CenterEastbound exit and westbound entrance
222.263357.698126Montana Street
223.883360.305127 I-15 Bus. south / I-90 Bus. west (Harrison Avenue)Signed as exits 127A and 127B eastbound; I-15 Bus./I-90 Bus. not signed eastbound
224.933361.995227 I-15 north – HelenaEast end of I-15 overlap; I-15 exit 129
226.785364.975228Continental Drive
Homestake231.425372.442233Homestake
JeffersonPipestone240.144386.474241Pipestone
Whitehall247.203397.835249 MT 55 to MT 69 – WhitehallS-399 (Whitetail Road) north from this exit
Cardwell254.472409.533256 S-359 – Cardwell, Boulder
265.878427.889267Milligan Canyon Road
Broadwater272.975439.311274 US 287 – Helena, Ennis
GallatinThree Forks276.514445.006278 MT 2 / S-205 – Three Forks, Trident
Logan281.447452.945283Logan, Trident
Manhattan286.871461.674288 S-288 to S-346 – Manhattan, Amsterdam
Belgrade296.474477.129298 MT 85 / S-291 – Amsterdam, Belgrade, West Yellowstone
297.280478.426299Airway Boulevard
Bozeman303.434488.330305 S-412 (North 19th Avenue) / Springhill Road
305.084490.985306 I-90 Bus. east / S-205 (North 7th Avenue) to US 191 south
307.568494.983309 I-90 Bus. west / US 191 south (Main Street)West end of US 191 overlap
311.207500.839313Bear Canyon Road
314.528506.184316Trail Creek Road
317.428510.851319Jackson Creek Road
322.387518.832324Ranch Access
ParkLivingston328.850529.233330 I-90 Bus. east – Livingston
330.804532.377333 US 89 south – Yellowstone National Park, Livingston City CenterWest end of US 89 overlap
335.752540.340337 I-90 Bus. west – Livingston
338.282544.412340 US 89 north – White Sulphur SpringsEast end of US 89 overlap
341.144549.018343Mission Creek Road
348.308560.547350East End Access
350.562564.175352Ranch Access
Sweet Grass352.169566.761354 S-563 – Springdale
359.952579.287362De Hart
365.541588.281367 I-90 Bus. east / US 191 north – Big Timber, HarlowtonEast end of US 191 overlap
368.691593.351370 I-90 Bus. west to US 191 north – Big Timber, Harlowton
375.932605.004377Greycliff
382.929616.264384Bridger Creek Road
Stillwater390.017627.672392Reed Point
394.893635.519396Ranch Access
398.526641.365400Springtime Road
406.813654.702408 MT 78 – Columbus
424.583683.300426Park City
YellowstoneLaurel430.920693.499433 I-90 Bus. east – West LaurelEastbound exit and westbound entrance
432.039695.299434 US 212 west / US 310 – Laurel, Red LodgeWest end of US 212 overlap
435.439700.771437 I-90 Bus. west / South Frontage Road – East Laurel
Billings441.444710.435443Zoo Drive, Shiloh Road
443.910714.404446 I-90 Bus. east / King Avenue West, Mullowney Lane – West Billings
445.150716.399447South Billings Boulevard – Billings City Center
448.056721.076450 MT 3 (27th Street) – Billings City Center
450.817725.520452 I-90 Bus. west / US 87 north – Roundup, Billings Heights, LockwoodWest end of US 87 overlap
453.263729.456455Johnson Lane – Lockwood
454.264731.067456 I-94 east – Miles City, BismarckI-94 west to 90 east exit 0; western terminus of I-94
460.132740.511462Pryor Creek Road
467.594752.520469Arrow Creek Road
Big Horn476.564766.955478Fly Creek Road
482.327776.230484Frontage Road – Toluca
Hardin493.863794.795495 I-90 Bus. east / MT 47 – Hardin City Center
495.455797.358497 I-90 Bus. west (Third Street) – Hardin
501.149806.521503Dunmore
507.093816.087509Crow Agency
508.758818.767510 US 212 east – Little Bighorn Battlefield, BroadusEast end of US 212 overlap
512.638825.011514Garryowen
528.564850.641530 S-463 – Lodge Grass
541.924872.142544Wyola
547.796881.592549Aberdeen
554.105891.746 I-90 east / US 87 south – Casper, Rapid CityContinuation into Wyoming
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

References[edit]

Route map: Google

KML is from Wikidata
  • Meeks, Harold (November 2000). On the road to Yellowstone: the Yellowstone Trail and American highways, 1900–1930. Missoula, Mont,: Pictoral Histories Publishing Company, Inc. ISBN 1-57510-079-7. 
  1. ^ "Table 1: Main Routes of the Dwight D. Eisenhower National System Of Interstate and Defense Highways". Route Log and Finder List. Federal Highway Administration. October 31, 2002. Retrieved November 8, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Montana Rest Areas (Map). Cartography by Google, Inc. Montana Department of Transportation. Retrieved November 8, 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i The Road Atlas (Map). 1 in ˜ 30 mi. Cartography by Rand McNally. Rand McNally. 2009. p. 60–61. ISBN 978-0-528-94219-8. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i Montana Highway Map (PDF) (Map). Montana Department of Transportation. 2009. 
  5. ^ "Garnet Back Country Byway". National Scenic Byways Program. Federal Highway Administration. Retrieved November 9, 2010. 
  6. ^ Helena Quadrangle (Map). 1:250,000. United States Geological Survey. April 1903. Retrieved November 9, 2010. 
  7. ^ "60-1-213. Robert E. Ewing Jr. memorial highway". Montana Code Annotated 2009. Montana Legislature. 2007. Retrieved November 10, 2010. 
  8. ^ "BILLINGS AREA I-90 CORRIDOR PLANNING STUDY". Retrieved 2013-01-29. 
  9. ^ Meeks, p. 127
  10. ^ Junior Road Map – Montana (Map). Rand McNally. 1926. 
  11. ^ http://www.mdt.mt.gov/visionzero/roads/speedlimits.shtml
  12. ^ MIKE DENNISON Gazette State Bureau (May 5, 2015). "New law will increase some highway speed limits to 80 mph". The Billings Gazette. 
  13. ^ http://missoulian.com/news/local/mph-speed-limit-to-increase-on-most-but-not-all/article_129da926-1e62-5665-a86a-d8a8f5b06832.html
  14. ^ Kato, Dillon. "Workshop Uses 1996 Alberton Chlorine Spill to Teach Emergency Management.” Missoulian, May 3, 2015.
  15. ^ "Montana Road Log" (PDF). Montana Department of Transportation. 2013. pp. 9–18. Retrieved April 4, 2015. 
  16. ^ "The St. Joe River Scenic Byway in Idaho & Montana". bigskyfishing.com. Big Sky Fishing. Retrieved 14 May 2017. 


Interstate 90
Previous state:
Idaho
Montana Next state:
Wyoming