What began last year as a discussion about emergency access to the Old Sawmill District has evolved into an $80,000 expansion and resurfacing of the Milwaukee Trail, a popular nonmotorized corridor undergoing a makeover at a number of locations.
In collaboration with the city, developers of the Old Sawmill District are funding upgrades to nearly 800 feet of the trail, increasing its width by several feet and covering it with a new layer of asphalt.
“We’ve spent the last 15 years turning the abandoned and blighted sawmill site into what’s now Missoula’s newest neighborhood,” said Ed Wetherbee, one of the project’s developers. “Creating a connection from the Milwaukee Trail throughout the former industrial site was really important to us.”
Creation of the Milwaukee Trail dates back to the 1970s when a stretch of rail line on the south side of the Clark Fork River was abandoned. The city of Missoula converted the former route to a nonmotorized trail that now stretches from the University of Montana campus to areas west of Reserve Street.