Martin Kidston

(Missoula Current) The Missoula City Council on Wednesday approved a number of transportation projects, including a crossing project on South Russell Street and a trail extension off Flynn Lane and Mullan Road.

Brandt Dahlen, the city's surface project coordinator, said the trail was envisioned under the Mullan BUILD project launched several years ago. The path will be built to commuter standards, paved and 10 feet wide.

“Once complete, these trails will complete the connection from Reserve Street out Mullan Road to Flynn Lane, and up Flynn lane to Camden street,” said Dahlen.

The city secured a Transportation Alternatives Grant to fund the trail's design and construction. The required local match will be paid from Sxwtpqyen impact fees, which were approved by the city to fund the remainder of the Mullan BUILD project.

“When the Flynn Lane trail is completed, there will be a full connection of this trail,” said Kevin Slovarp, city engineer for surface transportation. “When the Mullan Road trail is complete, it will go from Reserve Street out into the county. It goes quite a way to the west. There will be full trail connections in this area.”

The City Council also approved the construction of a new crossing on South Russell Street just north of the YMCA. The project includes bulb-outs, a center median, flashing beacons, lighting and a bus stop.

It will also aid non-motorized transportation by helping cyclists get onto and off the existing shared-used path from both sides of Russell Street.

“It's been contemplated since 2021 when a pedestrian died trying to cross South Russell Street near this location,” said Mark Todorovich, a surface project coordinator with the city. “This project will make it easier for people to chose biking and walking. It reduces the width of crossing South Russel Street.”