More north south connectivity is possible with the project.
Project to extend Fowler Avenue in Bozeman heating up
By Nora Shelly Chronicle Staff Writer Feb 16, 2022
Plans to extend Fowler Avenue have been in the works for decades and are getting closer to fruition. Though the city is insistent that the project to extend the road from Huffine all the way to Oak Street will happen, staff are still in the pre-design phase and looking for public input on the future road’s layout with a goal to bring design alternatives and a summary of community input to the commission this spring.
Danielle Scharf, who is leading the project with Sanderson Stewart, said during a city commission meeting this week that the earliest construction could start would be spring 2023.
Scharf said transportation plans as far back as 1990 showed Fowler serving as a minor arterial roadway, meaning it would be designed to carry larger loads of traffic.
Fowler Avenue starts near Huffine Lane and ends at Babcock Street, pushing cars headed north and south on the west side of town onto smaller local streets. Much of what at some point will be Fowler is now a walking trail.
Scharf said Fowler is the midpoint between two larger arterial streets, 19th Avenue and Cottonwood Road.
“When we have large gaps in the network like this, like we have today on Fowler, that results in more of the demands being placed on the collectors and the local streets,” Scharf said.
City staff and Sanderson Stewart have worked on some initial ground surveys and environmental reviews, and gathered data on traffic in the area, Scharf said.
Next, the city plans to work on concept design and resident input on things like the lane configuration, the bike and pedestrian lanes and intersection set-up, Scharf said.
The city is planning a number of events, including focus groups and field trips to walk around the site. “We are true in our hope that people will get engaged in the process, go on the field trips with us, provide meaningful input and help shape that corridor as it continues to move forward,” City Manager Jeff Mihelich said.
Scharf noted there are some challenges with the project cropping up already, primarily gaining right-of-way acquisition for several larger chunks of land that are not yet annexed into the city. A section line ditch also runs the length of the corridor, Scharf said, so the city will need to consult with the ditch company.
Scharf said there are plans to modify Fowler’s intersection at Huffine Lane and are considering whether to add a roundabout at the road’s intersection with Babcock and Durston.The design plans will also consider adding a connection to Fowler on Cascade Street, Scharf said, as well as connections to make to other local roads.