MISSOULA- A new trail and renovated bridge are opening up the eight-acre West Broadway Island on the Clark Fork, creating a new place to go for a stroll and observe wildlife right in the middle of town.
Walkers and bicyclists can access the island from a trailhead that starts off the Imagine Nation Brewery parking lot, off West Broadway.
Since starting the West Broadway Island project, the city has rehabbed the Burton Street Bridge, constructed a new pedestrian bridge, and made a trail connecting the two bridges.
Conservation Land Manager Morgan Valliant said that this redevelopment will bring life back into the area.
"A lot of these neighborhoods on the north and west side, they are under-served when it comes to park lands, natural areas and open space," Valliant said. "This is a huge benefit for folks that will be able to come walk their dogs, be able to come down and go swimming, they are not going to have to hop in their car to drive somewhere to go get their nature fix."
A second phase of this project will add more access points, a paved parking area, and more landscaping.
A press release says the $800,000 project took shape when the city took ownership of the island in 2013, and it was funded by tax increment financing in Urban Renewal District II. Landowners Joe and Dorothy Hacker donated a portion of land for the project.