The long-awaited construction project to improve and modernize Hillview Way is set to begin on Tuesday, May 17.

Missoula City Engineer Kevin Slovarp said the project will cost between $3.8 and $4 million.

"It's been a long time coming, but the SID's been approved and the funding sources have been approved by the city council, so we're at the stage of construction that will begin on Monday, when preparations for the project will get underway," Slovarp said. "They plan to decommission the roadway, put in new drainage facilities and then recommission the roadway. The new roadway will have lots of improvements, like curb and gutter so we can get the water off the road so it'll be safer for motorists and bicyclists. It will also include a sidewalk on one side and lighting for the roadway, as well."

One interesting feature of the project will be a new usage for Moose Can Gully, which runs underneath both sides at the top of Hillview Way..

"The Moose Can Gully project is actually and under-crossing for both wildlife and pedestrians, hopefully not at the same time," Slovarp laughed. "Basically, it's to have a safe under crossing for kids that are walking to and from school won't have to cross a busy road. They can go underneath and cross safely."

Slovarp said traffic control will take place in different ways as the construction goes forward.

"There's a lot of different ways for people to get to their homes, and the detours will be well-marked," he said.

The project will begin on Tuesday and last through the first few weeks of November.

"It's scheduled for six months, " he said. "and the cost is about $4 million dollars. That includes the lights and the base roadway improvements. We got a good bid from our contractor, so we're happy to be out there working on it, soon."

The properties included in the SID are those that will receive direct benefit from the Hillview Way roadway improvements. Slovarp said the city has worked for several years to implement a funding formula that is fair to all involved.