-Martin Kidston reporting for the Missoula Current
MISSOULA – When the city replaces a water main under a two-block stretch of Wyoming Street this summer, the Missoula Redevelopment Agency plans to finish the job by transforming the road into a proper collector.
MRA’s board of directors this week authorized the agency to apply roughly $630,000 toward the project, which carries a total price tag of $735,000.
The work will take place in partnership with Missoula Water and Public Works.
“It’s combining water line installation with Missoula Water and MRA coming in behind and reconstructing the street,” said Tod Gass, a senior project coordinator with MRA. “It’ a combined project.”
The project, engineered by WGM Group, will reconstruct Wyoming Street from California to Prince to collector-street standards. That includes a wider roadway and the installation of sidewalks and gutters.
The Montana Department of Transportation will finish the work from Prince to Russell as part of its larger Russell Street reconstruction project. Work by MRA and the city will also include pedestrian-scale lighting.
The work should be completed by fall.
“At MRA’s request, we expanded that lighting to cover the entire blocks rather than just intersections,” Gass said. “It may be the only opportunity to do street lighting there. With what the city is doing on the east end over on Craig Lane, the entire connection of Wyoming from Orange to Russell will have pedestrian-scale lighting.”
Gass said the lighting will match that installed in the Old Old Sawmill District development.
Both ends of Wyoming Street are also slated for a traffic light. The intersection of Wyoming and Russell will likely get there first. No plans are in the works to install a light at Wyoming and Orange at this time, said Ellen Buchanan, director of MRA.
“One of the requirements of subdivision in the Old Sawmill District is they have an obligation to fund the installation of that traffic signal (at Orange) once it’s warranted and once they file a final plat, which they haven’t done,” she said. “It’s going to require some discussion.”