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GREAT FALLS — The U.S. Air Force is aiming to spend up to $7 million annually through 2015 to spruce up roads where it transports personnel and equipment to Montana missile sites.

Cascade County Road Supervisor Dave Sutton said the typical missile road maintenance programs only include applying new gravel every few years to roads leading to Malmstrom Air Force Base missile sites, the Great Falls Tribune reported.

Under the beefed-up six-year plan, however, missile roads will be completely rebuilt with culverts and ditches, in addition to new gravel.

Spending will rise from $2.5 million annually to as much as $7 million.

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The importance of having good roads to haul missiles was highlighted about a year ago in South Dakota, where a road gave way under a vehicle that had a missile as its cargo.

Sutton says, "Those are extremely heavy loads."

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