On Monday, May 20, City of Missoula Street Division crews will begin a milling and paving project on the driving lanes on Stephens Avenue between South Sixth Street West and Mount Avenue. Brian Hensel is the Deputy Director of Public Works for Streets and he says the project will take three to four weeks to complete.

“Work will be confined to one lane at a time to accommodate traffic flow in both directions through most of the project duration,” Hensel said. “However, some paving operations approaching intersections with restrictive lane widths, may require short term detours. The city will also attempt to coordinate work outside of peak traffic times and direction of travel.”

The city is asking vehicle operators to drive slow, exercise caution, and allow for additional commuting times when traveling through the work zone and detoured routes. Hensel says they are doing this project because of the condition of the asphalt within the driving lanes.

“There is some severe rutting in several places,” Hensel said. “We have potholes occurring around the utility valves and sewer manholes. It definitely needs to be done. We have funding available for fiscal year 2019, which expires June 30. We need to take advantage of using that funding through MDT’s budget process.”

According to Hensel, the project is being funded by the Montana Department of Transportation through collaborative efforts with City of Missoula in accordance with the existing maintenance contract between both agencies.