By Patrick Winderl/Havre Daily Newsfirstname.lastname@example.org
A project to add a traffic signal at the intersection of 14th Avenue and First Street is under way, and construction crews have blocked off two lanes of traffic to rebuild sidewalks at the site.
The Montana Department of Transportation decided to add the traffic signal because of high traffic volume in conjunction with poor visibility at the intersection.
The traffic signal will be Havre's eighth. Although the project is taking place within the Havre city limits, MDT is responsible for maintaining First Street because it is part of U.S. Highway 2.
The area is a three-way intersection because Highway 2 and First Street separate when they reach 14th Avenue. Highway 2 veers off to the northeast while First Street continues east.
In addition to installing a traffic signal at the intersection, MDT is also building handicapped accessible curbs for pedestrians to comply with Americans with Disabilities Act requirements.
Central Electric Co. of Lewistown has been hired to perform the work.
The contract is worth $145,000, MDT engineer Doug Wilmot said this morning. The project is expected to be completed by Sept. 1.
In addition to the new traffic signal and sidewalks, there will be one other significant change to the intersection. The block of of First Street between 14th and 15th avenues will be one-way eastbound. That means people driving west on First Street between 15th and 16th Avenues will need to make a short detour to get to the highway.