Missoula S 5th & 6th
Missoula's South 5th Street West and South 6th Street West will undergo a pavement preservation project to extend the life of these two residential roads. Work will begin on this $1.3 million project the week of September 14 with clearing of low hanging tree branches to provide room for large construction equipment.
During the week of September 21, crews will start the mill and fill process. This process includes grinding down the first layer of damaged pavement and repairing roadway ruts and cracks. Once complete, an overlay of fresh asphalt (the “fill”) is place on top of this newly smoothed surface. It is anticipated that this work will be completed by September 30. Crews will return in early-October to add striping to the roads.
In order to complete this work and to prevent damage to personal vehicles, effective immediately, on-street parking will not be permitted in the project area during work hours, which are generally Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Access to residents and businesses will remain open throughout this work.
The completion of this work is weather dependent. Any construction activities that cannot be completed this fall will be finished in the spring of 2021 when crews return to complete chip sealing work on nearby roadways.
In the fall of 2019, changes were made to the lane configurations along South 5th Street W and South 6th Street West between Higgins and Russell. The new lane configurations included wider parking lanes, buffered bike lanes, a single driving lane, and added turn lanes at the signalized intersections. This work was completed through a close collaboration between MDT and the City of Missoula. A study of safety and operations deemed that the two travel lanes were not necessary to accommodate the number of cars on those streets and were contributing to a number of safety issues; including pedestrian crossing and bicycle access challenges.
In the subsequent months, feedback from the neighborhood has been largely positive. Residents have reported feeling much safer crossing the streets and bicycle use on these streets has increased. The City, with the help of some neighbors, has identified a few changes to the striping that will be made after the pavement preservation project is completed. The new lines will be simpler, with a striped buffer on one side of the bike lane, wider parking lanes, and cleaner approaches to the major intersections.
Pavement preservation is an umbrella term that covers a range of different techniques used to keep good roads in good condition. For this project, MDT is using an overlay, applying pavement to the current roadway.
Preventative maintenance, known as "pavement preservation", helps ensure that good roads remain good, and don't fall into poor condition. Roads in truly bad shape require a lot more money, time and resources to fix up. Pavement preservation keeps more Montana roads from falling into serious disrepair. Preventative maintenance keeps Montana drivers from experiencing major road construction, which create more delays, detours and longer timelines to complete work.
MDT performs preventative maintenance around the state. Just like regularly changing your car's oil, you'll see Montana Department of Transportation crews and contractors working to protect pavement with regularly scheduled maintenance projects. Keeping good roads in good shape makes more sense than putting all resources towards roads that have fallen into serious disrepair. Instead of waiting until a road deteriorates to the point where it would require millions of dollars to repair, resulting in lengthy traffic disruptions that could extend for an entire summer or more, pavement preservation extends the life of those roads with minimal investment and disruptions. In this way, the Montana Department of Transportation helps Montana roadways remain beautiful, safe, effective, and economical.