Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - The Montana Department of Transportation and Missoula County are preparing in the next few years to implement the East Missoula Highway 200 Corridor Plan which addresses Highway 200 east of Missoula in three segments: East Broadway Segment (from Van Buren Street to I-90), the East Missoula Segment (from I-90 to Brickyard Hill), and the Sha-Ron/Marshall Segment (from Brickyard Hill to Tamarack Road).

Missoula County Engineer Shane Stack shared details of the project with me in a recent interview.

The Plan will Cost up to $30 Million of Federal, State, and Local Money

“Essentially the plan will include the addition of non motorized facilities; sidewalks, shared use paths, and things like that,” began Stack. “This will include bike lanes from the Van Buren interchange, essentially there in Missoula would then run along Highway 200 underneath the railroad structure and out through past East Missoula.”

Stack provided more specific details of the plan.

“I think a couple of the main points would be that the railroad structure would be widened so that it  would accommodate cars and non motorized travel,” he said. “That's really a kind of the main key to that project I think is opening that up so that there's some connectivity between East Missoula and Missoula from a non motorized transportation perspective.”

The Plan is to Provide Safer Transportation for Cars, Bikes and Pedestrians

Stack said the transportation corridor has been ‘hit or miss’ when it comes to connectivity and safety for drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians.

“You're looking at sidewalks, shared use paths, bike lanes, curb gutter landscaping, the whole works,” he said. “They would clearly define in East Missoula where your accesses are; where you want to walk or bike where today it's a little hit and miss, especially if you're trying to cross the street on Highway 200. There are no locations for crosswalks or anything like that at this time.”

READ MORE: Temporary Maclay Bridge Repair Could Be Completed Soon

I also spoke with Aaron Wilson, Planning Manager for the Public Works and Mobility Department for the City of Missoula about the overall $30 million budget for this part of the transportation corridor plan.

The MTD is Kicking in a $30 Million Grant for the Project

“For that $30 million grant, we're really grateful for the Montana Department of Transportation for chipping in some of the local match,” began Wilson. “So out of the $30 million, the city and the county are collectively chipping in a million dollars and the other 29 million is being covered by state matching funds and then the federal grant of $24 million, so it's a really huge investment in the overall budget. It's a really fantastic deal for Missoula, allowing us to do some improvements that we otherwise just would not be able to do.

Wilson said the project is not slated to begin for at least two to three years.

Click here for details of the Missoula Connect 2050 Long Range Transportation Plan.

LOOK: Most dangerous states to drive in

Stacker used the Federal Highway Administration's 2020 Highway Statistics report to rank states by the fatalities per billion miles traveled. 

Gallery Credit: Katherine Gallagher