City Leaders Prepare For Bozeman's Growth - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

City Leaders Prepare For Bozeman's Growth

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BOZEMAN -  The city of Bozeman has approved more building permits this year, than all of 2012.

The population is also growing. The city is expected to hit near 91,000 people by the year 2050, an increase of about 50,000 more people than now.

As Bozeman continues to grow, city leaders are working to make sure the streets and water supply can accommodate more residents.

Several construction projects in Bozeman are scheduled for this summer. One project includes replacing the near 90-year-old water line that runs down Mendenhall between Broadway and Seventh.

"It's a very old water main," said Rick Hixson, City Engineer. "It breaks, it's bridal and before we repave Mendenhall, we need to replace that water main."

"We're going to replace that, upgrade its size and provide better service for downtown," said Craig Woolard, Director of Public Works. "The following year we'll repave Mendenhall. We try to phase these things. We will dig up the street to put the pipe in and then we'll go back and repave."

Another project includes widening College Street between Main and 19th.

"The huge canal along the north side of the roadway has to be put in a pipe first before we can widen the road," said Hixson. "We have to put that pipe in the canal before there's water in it. We're going to widen College to three lanes and put a center turn lane where it's needed. We're going to add a 10-foot pedestrian pathway on the north side. We're also going to add bike lanes on the street and there's going to be a new signal the intersection of College and 23rd."

Director of Public Works, Craig Woolard said these projects are necessary to keep up with the city's growth.

"The capacity and the level of service, how many cars that the road transmits, really is not performing at an adequate we call level of service, and so we need to upgrade that facility to get better traffic flow," said Woolard.

The city develops infrastructure by following a master document plan that shows where projects will need to be done to serve the anticipated growth in the city.

"We'll have a transportation master plan, we'll have a water master plan, we'll have a sewer master plan," said Woolard.

In addition to those plans, the city is also in the process of executing a 50-year integrated water resource plan which is expected to be done this July.

"We've looked at growth projections and how much water we'll need and what our existing water sources are able to supply," said Woolard.

City leaders try their best to prepare for growth, but Woolard said keeping up with growth now is a challenge everyday.

A new 22-million gallon water treatment plant is also being constructed on the south end of town to supply fresh, lean water to all residents in the Gallatin Valley. Construction of the plant should be completed by the end of this year.

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