Contractors with Mountain Water Company have already begun a water main replacement project on S. 5th Street West in Missoula that will last all summer.

Chief engineer on the project, Shanna Adams, said work is just getting underway on Monday.

"We are going to be replacing a 90 year-old  water main in 5th Street from Russell to Orange," Adams said. "The project is about 10 blocks, and right now our contractor is out there getting started this morning."

Adams provided more details on the water main replacement.

"The project will start at Russell Street and head east towards Orange," she said. "They'll be closing two to three blocks at a time, so there will be very clearly marked traffic detours, and we always tell people to be careful, slow down and drive cautiously. Third Street is a good alternate route, but again, all detour signs will be up. Local access will be available to those who live on those blocks, but you'll need to check with the project manager to make sure any special needs are handled, but local access will be provided."

The project will replace approximately 3,700 feet of six-inch Kalemain pipe with eight-inch ductile main. Project engineers are working towards the goal of having no section closed for more than three weeks at a time, and the project should wrap up by mid August.

Get project updates at the Mountain Water website, or visit their Facebook page.

Mountain Water Company is currently awaiting a Missoula District Court judge's opinion on whether the City of Missoula has the right to use condemnation to force the sale of the company. That opinion is expected soon.