Montana Department of Transportation

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Russell Street – Broadway to Dakota

The Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) is thrilled to announce that drivers, cyclists and pedestrians will all be able to travel on the first section of the new Russell Street Bridge in early May! Traffic will be moved to the new structure once the east half of the bridge is complete.

Prior to that time, we want to make sure you know our plans as well as we do. The following are the top 5 things you need to know before your first trip across the new bridge.

1. The new configuration for the east half of the new Russell Street Bridge will maintain two-way traffic. Drivers will be familiar with the lane configurations. The only big change will be the addition of a shared-use path on the eastern side of the bridge. There will also be a shift in the travel lanes through the intersection to get traffic to the new bridge.

2. Some routes will be affected by the traffic swap.

  • The Broadway and Russell Street intersection. When traffic is shifted onto the east half of the newly constructed Russell Street Bridge, there will be some changes. If you’re planning to head east toward downtown, please be aware that you can still turn right. Drivers heading east on Broadway will also not be able to take a left turn on to Russell Street.
  • River Road. Once traffic is swapped to the new bridge, there will only be right turn out of River Road – heading south on Russell Street. There will be no other turn options to/from River Road until the west half of the bridge is completed. For drivers looking to access River Road, the detour route will be west on Wyoming Street to Curtis Street, then north on Curtis Street to River Road.
  • Liberty Lane. There will be closures on Liberty Lane in order to build the new west half of Russell Street. The detour will be on/off of Broadway Street from Cooper Street, near the McDonalds restaurant approach.
  • These maps are available on the project webpage.

3. There will be traffic.

  • With temporary signals, roadway work, and bridge construction all taking up real estate on Russell Street, there will be lane restrictions. We’ll do all we can to limit delays, but we anticipate longer wait times the next few months within the Russell Street – Broadway to Dakota project limits. Taking alternative routes wouldn’t be a bad idea if you’re in a hurry. Otherwise, be mindful of construction, signage and our workers. We think you’ll be pleased to see the progress we’re making!

4. The Russell/Broadway signal will look different but will function in the same way.

  • Temporary signals will be installed to assign and facilitate safe traffic flow while crews connect in new intersection improvements. The temporary signals will operate until the bridge is fully constructed and permanent signals are installed. Temporary signals take up a lot of room, which is a main reason for some of the lane changes mentioned above.

5. Traffic will stay on the east section of the bridge until later this year when the entire bridge is fully constructed. Once the west half of the bridge is constructed, all five lanes of the final new bridge will go into use.

If you have questions about this traffic swap, or want to learn more about the project, we’re here to help!

  • Email updates: Contact Katie to subscribe.
  • Text message updates: Text “Russell” to 41411
  • Radio:
    • Mountain Broadcasting (KMSO) 102.5 FM
    • The Blaze (KBAZ) 96.3 FM
    • The Trail (KDTR) 103.3 FM
    • Montana Public Radio 89.1 FM
  • Follow the MDT Road Report
  • Engage with us on Facebook.

For additional information, please review the full Q&A document.

Construction Overview

The Montana Department of Transportation (MDT), in partnership with the City of Missoula, is rolling out the new Russell Street Bridge. The project, which starts at Dakota Street and extends to Broadway Street, will deliver significant upgrades including additional vehicle and bike lanes, expanded sidewalks, lighting, and trail connections.

Improvements to this corridor are years in the making and are critical to meet current and future transportation demands. This two-year, $29 million construction project will provide a completely new bridge over the Clark Fork River. In addition to bike and pedestrian facilities, the project will incorporate utility upgrades, enhanced traffic control, and landscaping. To provide a safer roadway and better access for all types of travelers, the project has been designed with careful consideration given to the area's high traffic volumes, crash history, and increasing bicycle and pedestrian usage.

Work on Russell Street – Broadway to Dakota is scheduled to begin in mid-April.

While construction is underway, travelers should anticipate increased traffic and delays. Impacted commuters and adjacent residents and businesses are encouraged to attend the open house to learn how crews and the community can work together to minimize these challenges.

Stay in the Know

For more information about Russell Street – Broadway to Dakota, connect with us in these places:

  • Email updates: Contact Katie to subscribe.
  • SMS texting updates: Text Russell to 41411.
  • Project Hotline: 406-207-4484 during business hours.
  • Listen for radio updates on these local channels:
    • Mountain Broadcasting (KMSO) 102.5 FM
    • The Blaze (KBAZ) 96.3 FM
    • The Trail (KDTR) 103.3 FM
    • Montana Public Radio 89.1 FM

*Please note that standard message and data rates may apply. We anticipate sending 1 update message per week and subscribers may request help by replying HELP or opt-out at anytime by replying STOP. Visit www.mdt.mt.gov/mdt/security_policy.shtml for terms and privacy policy.