Monday night the Missoula City Council approved construction on the Bitterroot Branch Railroad Trestle that runs alongside McCormick Park.

The Missoula Redevelopment Agency recommended the replacement of the trestle in 2006 as one of Missoula's urban renewal projects. 

Construction on the railroad trestle will allow dual access to Ogren Park, Silver Park and the Riverfront Trail System.

Missoula Redevelopment Agency Director Ellen Buchanan says additional trails are also going to be added to the trail system. 

Reconstruction of the trestle will allow Cregg Lane and Wyoming Street to be connected creating a new thoroughfare between Russell Street and Orange Street.  The new road will parallel the Riverfront Trail and provide easier access to California Street.

“It's a must needed east-west connector,” said Buchanan.  “If you've ever been on 3rd Street at four or five o'clock in the afternoon then you understand there's a need there and also for Broadway.” 

Buchanan says providing drivers with the new thoroughfare will take pressure off of 3rd and Broadway as well as open up recreation areas for easier public access. 

She says the city aims to receive bids by the end of February for companies that will work on the construction.  Buchanan says they hope to have the entire project finished by the end of the summer.