Rouse Avenue

Construction crews will begin work this fall on widening Bozeman’s Rouse Avenue between Oak and Main streets.

The Montana Department of Transportation is preparing for its next round of the $20 million effort to widen Bozeman’s Rouse Avenue to handle more traffic. That prep work means drivers will experience closures starting next week.

The department announced this week that fall construction will start Monday on Rouse Avenue between Main and Oak streets.

The state is hosting an open house Thursday from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m., at Hawthorne Elementary School gym, 405 E. Mendenhall St. The meeting is a chance for people to ask about the upcoming construction and overall project that has been in the works for more than a decade.

The latest section of the project is to widen 0.9 miles of Rouse from Main to Oak to get people easier access to downtown Bozeman. Improvements will include turn lanes, additional bike lanes and sections with two-way, left-turn lanes throughout.

Geno Liva, district construction engineer for the Montana Department of Transportation, said the work beginning Monday is to put in two box culverts underneath Rouse Avenue.

“This part of the project will address the much-needed improvements around the flow of Bozeman Creek,” Liva said. “Installing new box culverts will allow the creek to flow safely and without detriment to the road above.”

Additional work will include tree trimming, storm drain installation and water main adjustments.

“We know residents want to see this work finished, so we ask for patience as we go through this important step prior to major construction in 2020,” Liva said.

During the fall construction, Rouse will be closed from Peach to Lamme streets, and Peach will be closed from Rouse to Church avenues. The roads will reopen in November, unless weather holds up progress.

Drivers should be ready for delays of up to 15 minutes to reroute through downtown, following detour signs from Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Once spring arrives in 2020, crews will return to complete the majority of the Main to Oak expansion.

Another section of the project — widening Rouse from Oak to Story Mill Road — wrapped up last fall.

Katheryn Houghton can be reached at khoughton@dailychronicle.com or at 582-2628. Follow her on Twitter @K_Hought.

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