HELENA – Neill Avenue will be reopening ahead of schedule. It will officially reopen on Wednesday morning giving commuters a straight shot to downtown just in time for holiday shopping.
The biggest change drivers will see will be the raised intersection. It is like a giant speed bump causing traffic to slow down when going over the intersection making it much safer for pedestrians.
"It also makes the pedestrians more visible at these crossings,” says Solomon Redfern the Project Manager for the Front Street Project. “The bulb-outs extend the sidewalk out into the roadway so the pedestrians can be more visible to the vehicles that drive through when they need to slow down and stop for people to cross."
With this being a really busy area, crews really wanted to update the walking areas. They also updated the sidewalks making them all ADA accessible along with a raised intersection to ensure pedestrian safety.
"We added some bulb-outs and easier access for pedestrians,” says Redfern. “So basically, they're more visible to vehicles coming through this area and it's a lot safer for them to cross with these updates."
Crews will have to come back during the spring to add some finishing touches but the road will be fully functioning to drivers and pedestrians until then.
They will be holding a ribbon cutting on Monday to celebrate the competition of the entire Front Street Reconstruction Project.