Martin Kidston

(Missoula Current) With housing construction booming in the north Scott Street area – including a new 9-acre project expected to break ground next month – the city will begin work to improve the transportation corridor.

Kevin Slovarp, city engineer for surface transportation, detailed the city's plans on Friday as MRA approved bonding $5.7 million to lay the infrastructure needed for a new development, along with $3.2 million to cover the construction gap in 46 income-restricted housing units.

The infrastructure work includes extending Charlo, Shakespeare and Palmer streets into the new housing development. But it also includes improvements to Scott Street that front the project.

“In this request, we're including the cycle track and frontage improvements on Scott Street in front of the property,” said Annie Gorski, assistant director of the Missoula Redevelopment Agency. “They'll tie into a planned capital improvement project extending to the bridge. There's work under way to plan for a 2025 funding request for the rest of Scott Street, pending City Council approval.”

Scott Street has seen significant infill in recent years, including the completion of the Villagio, a 200-unit affordable housing project. Scott Street Village has also developed, and the city has plans with its partner, Ravara, to develop 46 income-restricted condos and townhomes in a new development.

That project will also include several hundred market-rate apartments and up to 32,000 square feet of retail space, according to MRA. Given the growth, the city is planning to improve the Scott Street corridor.

“We have a Scott Street capital improvement project we're looking at for design improvements on Scott Street, from Phillips to Otis,” said Slovarp. “We have money budgeted for that design, and we're working on the various conceptual design features.”

The work affiliated with the Scott Street housing project includes landscaping and a cycle-track – a theme that's expected to extend down the full length of Scott Street as future work takes place.

Slovarp said work is tentatively slated for 2025.

“We'd start at the southern end of Scott Street at the Phillips roundabout and move north over the bridge to compete as many physical improvements that we can to the corridor with the money we currently have programmed,” Slovarp said.