Tree removal project first step in Tatro widening


Bids for the Tatro Street and Milwaukee Street improvement projects will be opened Feb. 27. Then the lowest responsible bidder for the general contract will be chosen.

The project is expected to begin this spring, but some trees in the area are being cut down sooner due to migratory bird issues, so birds will not begin to build nests in the trees slated to come down.

Forty-five trees are scheduled to come down, but only three are large ones. A contracted crew, The Professional Tree Man, is removing trees along Tatro Street so it can be widened and improved. The crew also removed a few trees along Stower Street for the city.

The street project contract is for 80 working days, and every effort is being made so the project will be complete (with a possible exception of the chip seal) before school starts in the fall. It only affects the portion of Milwaukee that borders Garfield School and turns into Tatro.  

According to Montana Department of Transportation Project Manager Jim Jones and Engineer Clay Blackwell, the project will widen Tatro Street so there will be two 12-foot driving lanes with four-foot shoulders (some areas will have wider shoulders for parking). There will be sidewalks, curb and gutter on both sides of the street and lighting on one side. 

Narrow, winding Tatro Street has long been considered a hazard, as many children walk or bike to Garfield Elementary School along that route.

Earlier estimates put the project at $6 million, most of which will be covered by federal Urban Street Project funds, and some Community Transportation Enhancement Program funds may be used.