Learning the ropes of construction felt like an uphill climb six months ago. As a lifelong learner and lover of the outdoors, there are specific aspects of Montana Department of Transportation's (MDT) work that are complex - six months later, I find them fascinating.
In January, Big Sky Public Relations worked on producing educational materials about the Migratory Bird Treaty Act for MDT. This act prevents construction during the time of year when birds are nesting, so as not to disturb, harm, or otherwise displace our flying friends during the months of April through August.
Similarly, our neighbors living in Montana’s rivers are protected by construction, as several precautions are taken to avoid disrupting bull trout migration patterns. Bridge building work, as we are seeing for the Russell Street – Broadway to Dakota project, can only take place during warmer summer months. During this period, bull trout are not typically present in this section of the Clark Fork River. Water flow is also lower, lessening erosion and stream bed disturbance.
Fascinating, right? We were eager to share this information with the next generation of Montana’s recreationalists and environmental stewards. This is why we partnered with the Missoula’s Outdoor Recreation & Education Program to share how Missoula area kiddos can help to protect our rivers and to share some fun tidbits about bridge construction.
Last week, we met with about 20 students and questions ranged from “Why are you building a bridge?” “Why does my mom get stuck in traffic?” “What types of fish swim in the river?” Interestingly enough, the kids questions were consistent with those we answer for general members of the adult, traveling public on a regular basis.
This was one of my career favorite events. Looking at the kiddos’ faces who were fascinated by bridge building to seeing the smiles when Dick Anderson Construction handed out prized ear-plugs connected so many pieces of our work together. We love community involvement, because, well, we are able to involve and connect our community in so many ways. Look out, the next generation of engineers, contractors, and biologists are coming. And they know what they’re talking about!
Read more about Knee Deep with MDT HERE.