The ribbon was cut last Friday on Main Street, Stevensville, in celebration of completion of Phase 1 of the Streetscape Project, a $500,000 sidewalk improvement project that included repairing hazardous stretches of the sidewalk, laying infrastructure for future lighting projects, creating bulb-outs for pedestrian safety, and many other amenities.
The project was primarily funded through Community Transportation Enhancement Program (CTEP) grant funds that are administered through the county. The Stevensville Main Street Association, through its design committee, initiated the grant application and succeeded in gathering the $67,100 in money and labor required to match the grant funding of $432,000.
Main Street Association Director Joan Prather said that work on the project actually began in 2008 when members of the design committee succeeded in getting a few initial grants from the Stevensville Community Foundation, totaling roughly $3,000, to do the initial ground work on the project. With a lot of volunteer help from WGM Engineering employees, a plan was drawn up by Jennie Meinershagen, of Rocky Mountain Design in Hamilton, and presented it to the County Commissioners.
Knife River employees were still putting the final touches on the project the day after the ribbon cutting. The striping and the crosswalk striping, which is being done in cooperation with the concurrent Montana Department of Transportation overlay project, was underway. The “lollipop” style bicycle stands were being installed. About eight “maintenance free” benches will also be installed.
The circular bicycle racks were designed by local artist Kiana Fecteau and, when not obscured by a few bikes, are “beautiful, stand alone, sculptures,” according to Prather. Four of them are being mounted on Main Street as part of the project, each with a different decoration, a trout, a tipi, St. Mary’s Mission with the mountains, and a mountain with elk tracks. According to Prather, additional bike racks can be underwritten by private donors or businesses and the Main Street Association hopes to have more bike racks made to order. They can be installed at the site of the donor’s choice. Contact the Main Street office at 777-3773 for details.