Downtown stormwater project begins May 8

The city has contracted with Ed Boland Construction for a stormwater pipe replacement project.

Construction will require temporary street closures and the contractor will be working in the area from May 8 through Sept. 1.

During construction, the streets will be closed to through traffic, but local access will be provided.

The contractor will provide barricades and detour signs in the area to reroute traffic.

The project will be on the following streets:

  •   3rd Street South from 4th Avenue South to 2nd Avenue South
  •  3rd Avenue South from 3rd Street South to 4th Street South
  •  2nd Avenue South from 3rd Street South to 5th Street South

For more information about the Central Avenue/3rd Street drainage improvements phase one, contact Russell Brewer, senior engineer, at 406-771-1258.

City Commissioners approved a grant agreement for the project during their May 2 meeting.

The city was allocated $3,729,200 in grant funds from the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation through the competitive grant and minimum allocation grant programs of the American Rescue Plan Act through the state.

Commission to consider amendment to downtown plan for drainage projects

The city is using the funds for the downtown drainage improvement project to address problematic flooding that has occurred during high intensity rainfall events in recent years.

The most significant flooding event was in August 2016, when about one to three inches of rain fell in about an hour.

To address the problematic flooding, the city public works department hired Great West Engineering to conduct a basin study, which assessed existing storm drain infrastructure and identified improvements to reduce the duration and amount of future flooding, according to the city.

The study was finalized in December 2020.

City receives $8.4 million in state ARPA funds

The city public works department used the study to develop the central drainage project which includes the area:

  • along 3rd Street South and extends from 4th Avenue South to 2nd Avenue South;
  • along 3rd Avenue South from 3rd Street South to 4th Street South; and
  • along 2nd Avenue South from 3rd Street South to 5th Street South.

The project includes adding storm drain inlets, increasing underground pipe capacity, and better conveying storm water to the Missouri River.

The estimated budget for the project is $8.5 million.

City considering amendment of downtown plan for drainage projects

Public Works staff identified ARPA dollars as a potential funding source for the project.

The state was allocated about $2 billion in ARPA funds and the Montana Legislature put $582 million to local infrastructure programs including water and sewer projects, according to the staff report, of which $249 million was allocated to a competitive grant program for water and sewer infrastructure improvements.

There were two rounds of competition and the city’s downtown drainage project was one of four applications submitted for the second round of applications, according to the city.

The downtown drainage project was ranked 20th of 174 applications and was awarded $1,864,600 through the competitive grant program, which requires a dollar for dollar match, according to the city.

The state also established a $150 million minimum allocation grant program that allocated pre-set calculated balances of ARPA funds to municipalities and the city was allocated $8,505,069.

City staff chose to use a portion of those funds to match the competitive grant, which commissioners approved in September 2022.

The city is planning to use a total of $3,729,200 in ARPA funds for the project as well as $2.5 million in downtown tax increment financing funds.

The city will fund $6,229,200 million of the estimated $8.5 million total costs before using utility fee revenues from city residents.

The project includes installing:

  • 293 lineal feet of 12-inch PVC storm drain;
  • 946 lineal feet of 18-inch PVC storm drain;
  • 380 lineal feet of 18-inch DR25 C900 PVC storm drain;
  • 512 lineal feet of 54-inch RCP storm drain;
  • 24 lineal feet of 40-inch by 65-inch RCPA storm drain;
  • 9 concrete manholes
  • 3 Type 1 curb inlets; and
  • 2 hydrodynamic stormwater separators

The project was selected and prioritized in the city public works’ capital improvement program, and was included in the 2023 budget of the storm drain utility enterprise fund.