It's been 13 years since maintenance work has been done on Orange Street. That will change starting Monday, May 15.

City of Missoula Communications Director Ginny Merriam said the work will begin at 7:30 a.m.

"Our street division crews will be doing milling and paving maintenance on Orange Street between 6th Street and the south end of the Orange Street bridge," Merriam said. "Traffic will be a little bit slower, but Orange Street will remain open the entire time, but there will be lane closures, so obviously, when you have fewer lanes and traffic will be moving more slowly. Drivers will still have access to businesses in the neighborhood throughout the project."

Merriam said Orange Street is a state route, but the city has a maintenance contract that includes Orange Street, so the work being done is at the request of the state.

"What happens on Orange Street is that it has heavy traffic, and so eventually ruts appear and water gets trapped there," she said. "The result is eroded pavement, which leads to potholes. Since the last maintenance project occurred 13 years ago, it's definitely time."

With construction continuing on the Madison Street Bridge and on the Orange Street Exit off I-90, drivers are urged to take extra time to reach their destinations.

This message was just delivered from Knife River Contracting: The I-90 eastbound exit 104 Orange St. will be closed starting at noon on Sunday 5/14 and will be reopened on Monday 5/15 by 6:00 AM.  This closure is in order to crack seal the new concrete on this ramp.  The 104 exit is still closed to trucks.

Street Division crews began maintenance work this week on storm drains in that section of Orange Street.