The Montana Department of Transportation is celebrating the completion of the revitalized South 5th and 6th Streets between Russell Street and Higgins Avenue in Missoula by reestablishing roadway markings and providing a smooth driving surface for vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians.

Missoula District Engineer John Schmidt detailed the recently completed changes to the busy roadways.

“5th and 6th were both re designated to one way streets in the fall of 2019,” said Schmidt. “In following the re-designation, there was some conflicting striping that remained, and in the project we did this year, it really gave us the opportunity to erase all those conflicting lines, take a bunch of input that we got from the community and the residents that live there and make a few tweaks and adjustments and put something back out there that really looks nice and hopefully provides the service that the community needs.”

Schmidt explains the purpose of the recently completed work on 5th and 6th streets.

“Our project went from Russell Street to Higgins,” he said. “The changes provide more room for the bike traffic and a little more buffer for the cars and the on-street parking and just kind of slows everything down and makes it clear for where everybody's supposed to be.”

Schmidt also provided an update on the work presently underway on the Higgins Street Bridge reconstruction project.

“We've started the demolition of the westbound side of the structure that's going really well,” he said. “Right now we're still pretty early in it, but really haven't run into any complications yet, and we’re still shooting to have that west side of the bridge open with the shared use path and the two lanes by June of 2021.”

A Montana Department of Transportation press release states:

'Drivers are encouraged to remember the Three S’s of work zone safety: speed, space and stress.  Slow down when approaching work zones and follow posted speed limits.  Leave adequate braking room between your vehicle and the one ahead of you and don’t pass on the shoulder.  Keep your cool, pay attention and plan for delays.  These workers spend their days working a short distance from fast moving vehicles, and while they make every effort to work safely, they are counting on you to pay attention, slow down and be careful as you pass through a work zone.'