Rouse Avenue – Main to Oak
It’s no secret that the Gallatin Valley is expanding rapidly and that this growth is putting significant pressure on existing infrastructure. Bozeman streets, sidewalks and paths have more continual users than the system was designed to handle, which is leading to traffic congestion and safety challenges. To help meet this demand and to provide the safest facilities for years to come, the Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) is reconstructing a significant portion of one of Bozeman’s most important thoroughfares in the Rouse Avenue - Main to Oak project. Design is currently in progress to widen 0.9 miles of Rouse Avenue roadway from Main Street to Oak Street.
Paired with the recent reconstruction of the north segment of Rouse Avenue, widening this portion of Rouse Avenue will add increased capacity to Bozeman’s street grid. This will make it easier and safer for residents, commuters and visitors to access Bozeman’s vibrant downtown corridor. Project improvements will include vehicle turn lanes, additional bicycle travel lanes, and sections with two-way left-turn lanes throughout. These investments will not only improve safety but will provide a less congested roadway for all users, whether in a vehicle, biking or walking. Additional work will include important utility upgrades, such as a new storm drain system and gas line replacement.
Roadway Improvements and Safety
The Montana Department of Transportation is charged with providing a transportation system and services that emphasize quality, safety, cost effectiveness, economic vitality and sensitivity to the environment. Involving Montana's residents and communities is a vital part of fulfilling that mission and we take this responsibility seriously. The Rouse Avenue - Main to Oak project aligns with our Vision Zero goal of ensuring that Montana’s state roads and highways are built and maintained with safety as the first concern.
This is the second segment of roadway to be improved as part of the larger Rouse Avenue -Bozeman project. The first segment was completed in the fall of 2018, where the northern section of Rouse Avenue from Oak Street to Story Mill Road underwent multiple improvements, comprising widening the road and adding a turn lane from Bond Street to Story Mill Road. The bike path, sidewalks and landscaping installed in the first phase will be connected into the second phase of the project upon construction completion in 2020.
Providing safe access for all users is the cornerstone of the Rouse Avenue - Main to Oak project and is in direct response to mounting travel demands. Increasing capacity from Main Street to Oak Street will reduce the number and severity of crashes along this stretch of roadway.
Timing and Traffic Impacts
Preliminary work on utility upgrades began in the fall of 2018 and will continue into the fall of 2019. Road construction will be in full swing by the spring of 2020.
The traveling public may experience periodic street and alley closures and travel time delays in 2019. To complete early utility work, two blocks of roadway will be closed at a time as gas lines are moved. Delays will be limited whenever possible to avoid disruptions for area residents and businesses. Alternative routes will be also provided where needed to ensure access the downtown corridor. This will include entry to and from all alleyways.
All can expect to see ongoing utility work, primarily conducted by Northwestern Energy and CenturyLink into 2019, where equipment vehicles will be along the roadway. Utility work can only be successfully completed as favorable conditions allow, meaning weather will play a significant factor in how quickly this work moves forward. Snow and frost are two large factors that could potentially delay utility work in winter months. Additionally, the infrastructure in this area is very old. Unmarked lines from prior eras are often encountered during this process. Running into unknown lines, and taking time to prudently identify the existing utilities, can also cause delays.
Roadway construction in the Main Street to East Lamme Street section will commence once the academic year has closed. This section of the Rouse/Oak project runs directly in front of Hawthorne School. As such, the Montana Department of Transportation and partners have been working collaboratively with the school to ensure impacts are kept to a minimum.
Traffic Impacts in 2020
Once the Montana Department of Transportation moves to construction in the fall of 2019 and 2020, the section of Rouse Avenue between Main Street and East Lamme Street will be closed to traffic. The remainder of Rouse Avenue will be constructed under alternating one-way traffic; resulting in significant traffic delays. As plans are finalized, the Montana Department of Transportation will be working with the community to find the best traffic solutions for all. The team at the Montana Department of Transportation recognizes reconstruction will create significant inconveniences for travelers. As such, we are committed to sharing updates to ease this transition.
This $9 million, multi-year and phased project is expected to be complete in 2020. Upon its completion, residents and visitors will enjoy three driving lanes, new bike lanes and safer pedestrian access.
Staying in the Know
We recognize the impacts of construction on businesses, residents, and travelers and are committed to mitigating those challenges by delivering practical and timely information. The following resources will provide important updates as summer construction moves forward.
For regular project updates:
- Email updates: Contact Katie to subscribe.
- Project hotline: 406-207-4484 during business hours