BUTTE – The west end of Park Street corridor in Butte hasn’t changed much over the years, but the city and the Montana Department of Transportation will be making some major changes to West Park and Excelsior streets next year.
“The roadway is tired and the pavement needs to be rehabilitated so Butte-Silver Bow nominated this project for use of their urban funds that come from the federal aid program that the state administers,” said Jeff Ebert, District Administrator with Montana Department of Transportation.
The $3.5 million project will also involve reducing West Park Street from four lanes to two lanes from Montana Street to Montana Tech. There will also a turning lane running down the center of the street.
The lane that runs down the center allows motorists to make left-hand turns safely without traffic backing up behind them,” Ebert said.
Bicycle lanes will be added to the street, new LED lighting will be installed and the two traffic signals will be removed where West Park Street intersects with Washington and Idaho streets. The traffic signal will also be removed at Excelsior and Platinum. The state found these traffic signals are no longer needed.
“Back in the day they were warranted and justified in place, but now when we look at those and so having the traffic signal creates a liability,” Ebert said. “We actually sometimes have more crashes the traffic signals.”
On Excelsior, parking will be prohibited on the west side of the street between Platinum and Galena.
“We want to make it safe for the out there for them because what would happen if they’re parking on either side and their car doors when you open them are opening into a live traffic lane,” Ebert said.
The project will go out for bid by next spring and will take about a year to complete.
The public will get a chance to learn more about the project at an open house on June 14th in the lobby of the Mother Lode Theatre from 5-9 p.m.
Reporting by John Emeigh for MTN News