Major construction projects cause road closures, delays in Missoula


MISSOULA, Mont. - Four major construction projects are causing road closures and delays in Missoula -- the Madison Street Bridge, the Interstate 90-Orange Street interchange roundabout, the area between the Orange Street Bridge and Sixth Street and Brooks Street.

The Orange Street roundabout

Knife River Corporation says construction crews are working to put the final touches on the roundabout in the next coming weeks.

North Third Street will still remain closed for at least a couple more weeks until construction is complete.

Monday night the Orange Street exit for east and westbound traffic on I-90 will be closed as well as the roundabout. Both lanes of traffic will reopen 6 a.m. Tuesday.

Throughout the week Knife River will complete the crossing of the new water line at the intersection of Orange and North Third streets. Grading work will continue on the eastbound on and off ramps and on the north side of Orange Street where the westbound ramps join.

On Tuesday from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. Orange Street traffic will be detoured around the work site.

On Wednesday from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. traffic will be detoured to complete the underground storm structure.

Work will continue on the storm piping and structures on Third Street on Thursday and Friday nights.

When construction began planners said work would be completed by the end of May, but they are now saying the end of June. The delay is due to underground water lines being installed.

Missoula resident John Thomas says you can't depend on construction schedules.

"Construction hardly goes according to plan, but when you're talking about two months over schedule that's when things start getting ridiculous," Thomas said. "I think sticking as close to the original schedule is the best thing that's possible."

For more information on the roundabout click here.

The Madison Street Bridge

Workers hit the bridge's halfway point at the beginning of May. According to the Montana Department of Transportation the bridge is in its third phase, which consists of re-decking the southbound lanes.

Rehabilitation work is also taking place on the bridge's steel frame. The work will help control rust and the longevity of the bridge. Crews will also work on setting steel beams that will connect both ends of the bridge and allow for new decking to be placed.

MDT warns all pedestrians and cyclists to not enter the work zone or the under bridge under any circumstances while the bridge is still under construction. MDT is redirecting all pedestrians and bikers to the newly renovated northbound lanes of the Madison Street Bridge.

From June 5 to June 7, between the hours of 7:30 and 9:30 a.m., the trail will be closed once a day for approximately 10 minutes. MDT is also warning drivers to find alternative routes to avoid traffic.

Officials say the under bridge will reopen with the completion of the Madison Street at the end of August.

For more information on the Madison Street Bridge click here.

Orange Street -- between the Orange Street Bridge and Sixth Street

Work began on the section between the Orange Street Bridge and Sixth Street in May.

Crews are working on milling, paving maintenance and storm drain maintenance.

MDT said work was anticipated to be done by May 30. We reached out to project officials to see what the holdup is, but so far no one has gotten back to us.

MDT is warning drivers to expect delays up to 10 minutes, rough roadway surfaces and single-lane closures sporadically until the project is complete.

Brooks Street - Southgate Mall entrance

According to Knife River, construction on the area between Grant and Garfield streets is on track. The purpose is to build a new entrance for the Southgate Mall.

Right now traffic is condensed to a single lane heading south. Officials say rolling temporary lane closures will continue throughout the duration of the project.

One official on site Monday said work is expected to be completed by the end of June.

MDT says drivers should expect considerable delays during peak travel times.

Missoula resident Jesse Rivera says you can't hide from construction in Missoula.

"There should just be a sign up in the sky that says 'whole town is under construction,'" Rivera said.

Officials are asking drivers to find alternative routes to avoid any traffic or delays.