Montana's second season – road construction – is here. Construction efforts to complete the Missoula ADA project started in April 2019 in the downtown area. These efforts will create greater sidewalk accessibility for all Missoulians. Construction will follow the numerical order on the map below. In April, construction will start on the west side of the West Front Street and North Higgins Avenue intersection. The work will then follow the numbered street corners in order.
Weather-permitting, the Missoula ADA project is planned to wrap up in July 2019 after final accessibility improvements are made to the intersection of Broadway Street and Alder Street. From April to July, single lane closures and some pedestrian detours will impact downtown traffic. The Montana Department of Transportation, WGM Group and Knife River are intent on minimizing delays for travelers, but please note that some traffic congestion will likely occur as this construction unfolds in the downtown area.
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Missoula ADA Map
What is Missoula ADA?
The Montana Department of Transportation is updating sidewalk corners throughout the City of Missoula with a project called Missoula ADA. Updates to sidewalk corners will allow all users to more easily get on and off sidewalks. People with disabilities, parents with strollers or small children on bikes, delivery drivers, older adults and other groups will be able to use more city streets without worrying about sharp drops off the curbs once the sidewalk corners have been made more accessible.
Missoula ADA is rooted in the Montana Department of Transportation's ongoing efforts to provide greater accessibility to residents and visitors across Montana. The ultimate goal of the project is to increase accessibility across Missoula. These improvements serve the 12% of Missoulians who have a disability*, as well as people who use walkers or canes and other assistive devices like crutches and people pushing strollers, bikes or delivery dollies. (*data collected from 2016 American Communities Survey).
These improvements are part of the Montana Department of Transportation's Americans with Disabilities Act Transition Plan. From St. Regis to White Sulphur Springs, Montana communities are benefitting from the Montana Department of Transportation's commitment to greater accessibility for all.
How Will Missoula ADA Improve Accessibility?
A sidewalk curb with no ramp is difficult to navigate for people with disabilities, people who use walkers or canes and other assistive devices like crutches, as well as people pushing strollers and delivery dollies. Some sidewalk corners that currently have sloped curb ramps will be updated to meet new ADA standards.
New curbs will have gentler slopes to ease a wheeled device down, and these new curbs feature landing areas at the top where pedestrians can prepare to turn and access the crosswalk. The ramps are designed to be long enough to provide a gentle slope, but not so long that a user becomes fatigued pushing up the ramp. For users with a stroller or using a walker or wheelchair, these landing areas are crucial to making a safe turn into the ramp leading to the crosswalk.
Additionally, tools to help users with vision impairments will be installed at updated crosswalks. These tools are called "detectable warnings." Detectable warnings are the colored and textured surfaces found in the areas where a curb ramp connects with the street. Detectable warnings provide a sensory warning to users with vision impairments, alerting them that they are entering a roadway where vehicle traffic is present. Finally, the design is also intended to limit water pooling in the area where the curb ramp transitions into roadway, keeping everyone's shoes dry when possible.
When Will Missoula ADA Improvements Be Completed?
Where Will Missoula ADA Improvements Be In Missoula?
In total, about 90 intersections in Missoula will be updated to become more accessible. Work will be performed in four different zones with completion scheduled for summer 2019, weather permitting.
The streamlined construction process used to upgrade curb ramps is designed to reduce the time required to finish these improvements. That means less noise and disruption for neighbors and travelers around the work zone.
The Montana Department of Transportation, WGM Group and Knife River Construction are united in their intention to minimize disruptions in each neighborhood where Missoula ADA improvements are performed.
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