Meade Mayhem (slideshow 3)
By Jason Stuart
Ranger-Review Staff Writer
After years of complaining about the rather sorry state of Meade Avenue, locals are about to finally get their wish as the first phase of major repairs to the street and its underlying infrastructure is slated to begin July 10. On that day, the city of Glendive will begin tearing up the road between Dodge and Slocum streets to replace the city water and sewer mains beneath it, with a repaving of the street surface along that stretch of Meade to follow.
Of course, new infrastructure and street surfaces don’t come without some inconveniences during construction, and those living along that section of Meade or locals who often travel it had best gird themselves for the headache of living with that construction for the next two to three months.
The city’s contract for the work on Meade covers 90 days, noted Public Works Director Jack Rice, with 60 days “to substantial completion” and then a 30-day period afterwards “for final.”
For those living along Meade between Dodge and Slocum, the impact will begin almost immediately. On the first day, water will be completely shut off through that section of Meade. Rice said notices will be delivered to homeowners the day before the water shut-off. Fortunately, however, those residents will only have to go without water for a single day.
After that, homes along that section of Meade will have water delivered to them via temporary PVC hoses connected to a fire hydrant on Kendrick Avenue and strung out along the sidewalks across the project area. Rice said the city chose to do that in order to “minimize the impact to people.”
Residents hooked up to it also needn’t worry about the fact that their water will be coming from a fire hydrant for the next couple of months, Rice added.
“It will be tested, chlorinated and everything,” he said. “It will be safe water.”
One thing there is no work around for is traffic on the street. Meade will be torn up curb-to-curb for the water and sewer line replacement, and that will necessitate a complete closure of the street to thru traffic for the duration of the project. Residents along the closed-off section will still be allowed access to their driveways and garages, but for all intents and purposes, everyone used to traveling
Meade is going to have to find another way around for the next couple of months.
“The traffic is what will be a big deal,” Rice said. “We’re going to close those three blocks of Meade off.”
Drivers may not like it while it’s going on, but they’ll likely be thankful once its done as at the end, that section of Meade “will be paved curb-to-curb,” knocking out at least one section of what is currently one of the most bone-jarring drives in town.
As for the hoped for completion date, Rice said he thinks the contractors can likely get done by around September 10 or so, barring a shift in the weather so that “it starts to rain in Eastern Montana.”
“Their plan is to have it mostly done before we get too far into the new school year, but there’s no way to know until they get going,” Rice said.
No matter how long it takes and in spite of the inconveniences, Rice added that for all the complaints about Meade over the years, it will be nice to at least get part of it back up to snuff.
“It’ll all be worth it once it’s done,” he said.
The rest of Meade is on schedule to be done in two more years. In 2019, the Montana Department of Transportation will come in with a complete rebuild of Meade from Towne Street to Slocum.