Russell Street design hinges on lane width debate


MISSOULA, Mont. - The design for big changes to Missoula's Russell Street corridor is close to final.

The City Council Public Safety Committee met Wednesday morning to discuss to latest information.

The proposed plan design is four lanes with a raised median in the middle, with sidewalks and bike lanes on each side. It also includes a mountable curb that makes it easy for bicyclists to turn and enter and exit the bike lane.

The only part of the plan the plan that's up in the air -- how wide the inside lanes will be. The city wants the inside lanes to be 10 feet wide, while state and federal administrators want the lanes to be 11 feet.

"The inside lane, we could not reach a compromise on," said Council Member Jason Wiener. "There's a foot of difference there."

Thursday, Missoula Mayor John Engen will meet with the Director of the Montana Department of Transportation and a Division Administrator from the Federal Highway Administration in Helena. They'll discuss and vote on the width of the inside lanes.

Construction is still scheduled to begin in 2016.

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