Street Construction

Construction continues on Durston Road on Tuesday at the intersection of North Yellowstone Avenue.

Bozeman City Commissioners have reviewed and updated the city’s five-year plan for major street construction projects.

Among the projects slated to take place over the next few years are improvements to Kagy Boulevard, Manley Road, Griffin Drive and Fowler Avenue. Also on the list are a number of intersections that have become busier as Bozeman grows, like Bridger Canyon Drive and Story Mill Road.

The commission also voted Monday night to add a project to the list for next year aimed at aiding in the city’s efforts to create more affordable housing. The road will connect North 15th Avenue to Tschache Lane and provide access to two proposed housing developments. The project will cost about $250,000.

Commissioner Jeff Krauss also asked that a project at Oak Street and 19th Avenue be moved up on the plan’s timeline from 2025 to 2022 due to safety concerns. The eastbound lane will be reconfigured and the signal will be updated.

The projects are paid for by street impact fees paid by developers and the Arterial and Collector District.

Commissioner Terry Cunningham, who serves on the Bozeman Area Pedestrian and Traffic Safety Committee, said he has three priorities when looking at street projects — safety, traffic congestion and how it will contribute to make Bozeman more affordable for residents.

“We have to have an efficient grid that moves people through our town well,” Cunningham said during Monday’s meeting.

He said he’s long been concerned about the intersection of Kagy Boulevard and Sourdough Road. The Montana Department of Transportation had decided to add a traffic light to the intersection.

The state agency asked the city to contribute $85,000 to the project, which the commission also approved Monday.

Shawn Kohtz, city engineer, said Monday’s updates affirm that commissioners are dedicated to increasing affordable housing in town. For example, he said that improving Fowler Avenue in 2023 will help make Bozeman’s west side with cheaper housing more accessible to Montana State University and businesses in the area.

Another example is the improvements planned for Griffin Drive and its intersection with Manley Road, which will aid the Housing Resource Development Council as it builds a new year-round emergency shelter.

Other projects on the list include improvements to Babcock and College streets.

Shaylee Ragar can be reached at sragar@dailychronicle.com or at 582-2607.

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