Hamilton, Montana

Safety, Connectivity, and Beautification at Hwy 93/Main St. Intersection

Hamilton, Montana  |  In Progress

Project Details

The Challenge

Key Activities

A small community of less than 5,000 people, Hamilton, Montana sits about one hour south of Missoula. With a quaint downtown, a great view of the Bitterroot Mountains, and a strong sense of community, Hamilton is an inviting place to those who live there. However, the community faces challenges surrounding Highway 93, which bisects the town. An inactive railway also parallels the highway.

The intersection of Highway 93 and Main St. is a key intersection for the community, but those passing through don’t see the character and vibrant community that exist there. Additionally, the intersection’s design has lead to connectivity and safety issues.

A team from the City of Hamilton applied to Community Builder’s Technical Assistance program to engage the community in solving some of the issues around the Highway 93/Main St. intersection. The project began in Fall 2019 and is ongoing today.

In November 2019, we travelled to Hamilton to meet the Project Management Team (a group of local leaders spearheading this project). We worked with them to facilitate a variety of community engagement meetings over three days. The purpose of these meetings was to gain initial feedback about issues and concerns surrounding the intersection.

Because of the town’s proximity to a state highway and state railroad, a primary focus of these meetings was to meet with both the Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) and the Montana Rail Link (MRL).

Other involved stakeholders include business owners, property owners, community members, and the City. Walk audits, focus groups, and a public open house were held to engage these stakeholders.

In February 2020, we went back to Hamilton for three days of design workshop. We met with stakeholders and community members to share and modify ideas based on feedback. Currently, we’re working to finalize design recommendations.