Hamilton, Montana

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

Hamilton, Montana  |  Completed

Project Details

The Challenge

Key Activities

Outcomes

Reports

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.

In fall of 2019, 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.

In November 2019, Community Builders travelled to Hamilton and met with a group of local leaders to gain initial feedback about issues and concerns surrounding the intersection. Over three days, we hosted stakeholder meetings, one on one meetings with Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) and the Montana Rail Link (MRL), local business and property owner walking tours of the project area, and a large community open house.  Following this visit, we continued to seek understanding from the community through a project video, online survey and comment boxes at local businesses.

In February 2020, we went back to Hamilton for a three day design workshop. We again met with key stakeholders and community members to share ideas and gather feedback through drop-in design sessions, focus group meetings and a second community open house.

Following the design workshop, we worked with MDT and local stakeholders to refine the ideas and gather additional feedback from the community. While COVID made in-person engagement a challenge, we were able to share ideas through a poster roadshow around town, on the website and social media, through an online survey, and by hosting a virtual Q&A session with the City to gather feedback.  

The Connect 93 Action Plan was adopted by Hamilton City Council on August 18, 2020. In addition, this project provided key communications with both MDT and MRL on how to work together on mutual goals in Hamilton.  From this process, MDT has already revised signal timing to help pedestrian crossing and Hwy. 93.

The City is also in the process of coordinating with MRL on a lengthy permitting process to improve access at the brewery, provide additional parking, and creating a secondary route for bikes.

 

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