Crews from the City of Missoula Street Maintenance Division will work through August to restore a smooth driving surface to South 3rd Street from Orange Street to the Bitterroot Branch railroad tracks beginning August 10, taking approximately six weeks to complete. Street Division crews will excavate to remove the remains of the century-old trolley route running down the street. Ties remaining under the roadbed are deteriorating and would eventually cause washboard to appear if not removed. Crews will also remove two sets of abandoned railroad tracks near the Bitterroot Branch. They’ll restore the roadbed and finish with a new asphalt surface.
Work will start at Orange Street and move west. Portions of 3rd Street will be closed during construction, usually one or two blocks at a time, so drivers and bicyclists should follow detour signs. Streets will reopen to local traffic when possible, but there will be no through traffic allowed on 3rd Street until the project is completed. Drivers and bicyclists should proceed slowly and cautiously due to rough and patched areas. Detour maps are available here, and for more information on this project, please visit Missoula Water’s projects web page at http://ci.missoula.mt.us/2668/Water-Projects.
This last phase of Missoula Water’s water main replacement project in 3rd Street is a great example of how the collaboration between Missoula Water and the Street Maintenance Division will save both money and time—Missoula Water did not have to pay for street pavement patches that would just be torn up to complete Street Maintenance’s street construction and paving work a short time later. Instead, both divisions planned ahead and adjusted their schedules to create one comprehensive project. This collaborative effort also reduced the amount of time the street will be closed and traffic detoured. Doing all of the work at once means the street is torn up for one summer instead of two. In addition, the City’s Storm Water Utility coordinated with both divisions to improve storm water infrastructure, and Street Maintenance crews installed Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) ramps while the water main work was being done.
Missoula Water’s water main replacement project involved replacing 1,870 lineal feet of 6-inch Kalamein water main pipe, originally installed in 1914, as well as water service lines from the water main to the curb box for properties along this portion of 3rd Street.
All employees and contractors working on this project are required to follow specific COVID-19 safety protocols, including maintaining a 6-foot social distancing buffer from others or wearing appropriate personal protective equipment when distancing is not possible.