Two Missoula neighborhoods are expected to receive new sidewalks soon, partly through the help of a $261,000 grant from the U.S. Department for Housing and Urban Development. City Grants administrator Will Sebern explains why the Westside Neighborhood and Franklin to the Fort Neighborhood were picked for the project.

"These are communities that lack sidewalk infrastructure in over 40 percent of the streets, whereas the city average for that is only 22 percent of streets are lacking sidewalks," Sebern said. "It's also where we see some disparities when it comes to health outcomes related to obesity and poverty."

The environmental assessment was recently finished and is open for comment.

"In the Westside, the sections are on Cowper Street between Stoddard and Sherwood and on Sherwood Street between Cowper and Burton, so there is kind of an 'L' shape that is going to happen in new sidewalk segments and the real great thing there is that is it's going to make some nice connections to Lowell School and Westside Park," Sebern said. "Then in the Franklin to the Fort neighborhood there are kind of a scattering of segments, primarily on Grant Street, Eaton Street and on a small intersection at Washburn and 10th."

Specifically, the sidewalk sections will go in the following areas:

  • Cowper Street between Stoddard and Sherwood
  • Sherwood Street between Cowper and Burton
  • Grant Street between South 11th Street West and South 14th Street West
  • Corner of Washburn and South 10th Street West
  • Eaton Street between South 10th Street West and South 11th Street West

The total project will cost $856,700. Sebern says they hope to begin construction of the sidewalks in the Fall.