MISSOULA — After a summer of detours and waiting, bikers and walkers are finally using the new Milwaukee Railroad Trail tunnel under Russell Street.
The old Milwaukee Trail crossing of Russell had been one of the most hazardous spots for riders and pedestrians in the city, especially during overnight hours.
But that's all changed now, with Friday afternoon's opening of the new "underpass". Engineers had decided the only real safe way to provide the trail crossing of one of Missoula's busiest streets was to tunnel underneath.
That wasn't an easy feat, since the trail had to have an accessible grade to dive deep enough to go completely under the street.
A handful of bike riders were already trying out the new passage. There are still some finishing touches, such as landscaping, and opening the stairs down from the street. But other than that, it's all open and ready to use.