Residents hope streetlights will improve dangerous section of Brooks


Residents hope streetlights will improve dangerous section of Brooks

MISSOULA, Mont. - Montana Department of Transportation wants feedback from the public on changes they want to make to Brooks Street. They want to add street lights lining the sides of the roads.

This will be from Dore Lane down to Buckhouse Bridge. That section of Brooks Street is known for high volume traffic and some pretty bad accidents.

The idea to add street lights and more signage to this section came from the public after they voiced their concern in a 2011 safety audit.

"I've personally had a friend die on this road. There's been a ton of accidents over the years. I think better lighting will definitely enhance the people seeing the pedestrians when they're trying to cross the road," said Seven Hobbs, employee at Car Werks.

Seven Hobbs works at Car Werks. Car Werks is a used car dealership right on the section of Brooks between Dore Lane and Buckhouse Bridge. He said more lighting is necessary on this road.

"Anytime you enhance the ability to see better, I think it's going to be a great thing, plus it will liven up the Ave a lot better too. Just make it more lively, having some more lighting," explained Hobbs.

After receiving the high alert of concern during the safety audit, Montana Department of Transportation thought this would be a good idea. They are already planning to get this started within the next couple years.

"We're targeting for construction season of 2016, to have a contract available and to be able to install these features," said Ed Toavs, Missoula District Administrator at Montana Department of Transportation.  

This work will include street lighting lining Brooks from Buckhouse Bridge to Dore Lane, "icy bridge" signs when approaching Buckhouse Bridge, and general upgraded signage from the bridge to McDonald Avenue. This will not cause a detour for traffic but it does put some stress on the Montana Department of Transportation.

"It's a pretty significant issue for us because we typically have upwards to 30,000  cars a day on that section of US 93 to Buckhouse Bridge and also Brooks and Dore. So, we have a lot of traffic, pretty concerning for us," explained Toavs.

This project is estimated to cost $600,000 and to be done in 2016.

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