State Route 37, 38, 39 and 41 in Montana
State Route 37 in Montana
Highway 37 (MT-37) is a state route in the U.S. state of Montana. The road forms a north-south route in the far northwest of the state, from Libby to Eureka. Highway 37 is 108 kilometers long.
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Highway 37 begins in Libby on US 2 and then follows the Kootenai River valley to the east. The surrounding area consists of forested mountains, the road passes the Libby Dam and then Lake Koocanusa. The road also turns north here. There are no real places on the route between Libby and terminus Eureka, nor are there any side roads for through traffic. Highway 37 ends at Eureka on US 93, not far from the border with Canada.
Highway 37 was one of the original state highways in Montana and in 1935 was already partly asphalted and elsewhere a gravel road. The rest of the road was paved around 1959. With the construction of the Libby Dam between 1972 and 1975, Highway 37 also had to be moved higher up the slope. Lake Koocanusa was created behind the 129 meter high dam.
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Between 500 and 1,500 vehicles use Highway 37 every day.
State Route 38 in Montana
Highway 38 (MT-38) is a state route in the U.S. state of Montana. The road forms an east-west route through the Sapphire Mountains in the west of the state, from Grantsdale to Porters Corner. Highway 38 is 87 kilometers long.
Highway 38 begins in Grantsdale on US 93, not far from Hamilton. The road briefly passes through the valley of the Bitterroot River, but heads into the Sapphire Mountains and begins a long and remote mountain stretch. The road narrows and eventually the highest part of the 2,212 meter high Skalkaho Pass is a fairly long stretch of unpaved. The mountains in the area are only a few hundred meters higher, and there is no wide view because the pass height is below the tree line. It then descends through a dry valley before Highway 38 ends at Highway 1 in the hamlet of Porters Corner.
The road was built in 1924 over Skalkaho Pass to connect two valleys. There are no nearby alternatives between Hamilton and Anaconda, further south via the Chief Joseph Pass is 80 kilometers longer and further north via Missoula is 100 kilometers. Highway 38 is still a fairly long stretch of unpaved over the pass height, narrow and winding and difficult to drive. This part is not kept open in winter.
Only 20 vehicles cross the Skalkaho Pass daily, making Highway 38 the least traveled primary state highway in Montana.
State Route 39 in Montana
Highway 39 (MT-39) is a state route in the U.S. state of Montana. The road forms a north-south route in the southeast of the state, from near Forsyth to Lame Deer. Highway 39 is 82 kilometers long.
Highway 39 begins west of the village of Forsyth on former US 10 and then heads south where it intersects Interstate 94. Highway 39 heads south through a hilly area of badlands and mining around Colstrip. Highway 39 is often the only paved road in the area. The road ends in Lame Deer on US 212.
In the 1920s, day mines were built around Colstrip. In the area, Highway 45 originally ran along Rosebud Creek, and was the main north-south route in the area in the 1930s, although the road was unpaved. Between 1952 and 1955 the section between Forsyth and Colstrip was paved, making the coal mines around Colstrip more accessible. A number did not get the way back then. In 1959-1960 the road was further paved between Colstrip and Lame Deer, in 1960 the number Secondary Highway 315 was assigned to the route. In 1978 the road received its current number. In 1975-1976 and 1984-1986, four units of a coal-fired power station at Colstrip were commissioned.
Every day, 700 to 1,000 vehicles use the road, with more intensive use around Colstrip.
State Route 41 in Montana
Highway 41 (MT-41) is a state route in the U.S. state of Montana. The road forms a north-south route in the southwest of the state, from Dillon to Highway 2 west of Whitehall. Highway 41 is 82 kilometers long.
Highway 41 between Dillon and Twin Bridges.
Highway 41 begins in Dillon at a junction with Interstate 15. Dillon is also the largest town on the route. The road then follows the BEaverhead River valley to the north, eventually becoming the Jefferson River. The environment consists of isolated mountain ranges with peaks up to 3,200 meters. Highway 41, however, remains fairly flat and follows the broad valleys northeast to north. There are only a few small villages on the route, of which Twin Bridges is the most important. Highway 41 then ends at Highway 2, about 15 miles west of Whitehall.
Highway 41 is one of the original state highways and at the time ran between US 93 and US 10, which are now I-15 and I-90. In 1935 the entire route was unpaved and largely a dirt road. In 1937 the northern part of the route between Twin Bridges and US 10 was paved. The southern part was largely asphalted in the early 1950s. The route of Highway 41 has hardly changed since the 1930s, US 10 was dropped when I-90 was completed, and was then renumbered as Highway 2.
2,000 to 2,200 vehicles drive daily on Highway 41.