Main Street Revitalization Meeting
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Posted by David Schott (+16313) 19 years ago
Apparently last night was the Main Street Revitalization Meeting. I'm curious to know how it went. Did anyone go?

MDOT's Bill McChesney was scheduled to talk about plans for replacing the Main Street Tongue River bridge. I hope they plan a somewhat ornate/interesting bridge. The light poles and guard rails on the existing bridge are certainly more interesting than a "jersey barrier" guard rail.

On a similar note, I see that Bridge Street is scheduled to be resurfaced between 5th and 10th Streets. Plan is to use an asphalt overlay. In a way, I'm sad to see Miles City's infamous concrete streets being paved over with asphalt.

- Dave

[This message has been edited by David Schott (edited 3/28/2001).]
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Posted by Bart Freese (+929) 19 years ago
Well, as usual I know nothing, but do know someone who does know something. (This was the basis for a country western song, or some such thing, wasn't it?) Anyway, I'll send off an email and get the folks in the know to get over here and fill us in.
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+11277) 19 years ago
The "folks in the know" is me, because I was in charge of the meeting.

The "official" Main St. Revitalization program is part of the National Trust for Historic Preservation so, as the city preservation officer, I am "in charge."

Bill McChesney has been really good about working with us on the bridge program. When it was suggested they do the Pacific st. bridge first, using the money scheduled for the temporary bridge that would be necessary as a detour for the Main St. Bridge, he took that idea to the state and that is the plan. The bid will be let for the Pacific st. bridge in June of next year (none of this stuff happens in a hurry) and then, when it is done, the main bridge.

He said they found a "rustic" railing on a bridge in Texas they might duplicate. Kathy Doeden and Mark Browning are trying to find out what that means. It won't be a plain, ugly, basic bridge, that is promised. They will replace the lights with something new that looks similar to the ones there.

The East Main project and the Bridge St. overlay are scheduled for this summer, although the Bridge St. is actually a city project. Yeah, the concrete streets are SO MUCH BETTER but, as usual, also cost SO MUCH MORE. Sigh. That last ten times as long as asphalt but cost ten times as much, as well. (Actually, I have no idea what the actual numbers are but concrete lasts much longer and costs much more, fer shure.)

If you know anyone who wants the old Pacific Avenue bridge, it belongs to the county, is in the National Register of Historic Bridges and is free for the hauling , so to speak.

We are having a meeting April 17 to discuss the ideas for the Main St. project. If you have any suggestions for how to perk up Main, let me know!

--Amorette
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Posted by David Schott (+16313) 19 years ago
Thanks for the meeting report, Amorette. I'm glad to hear they plan a somewhat interesting design on the new Main St. bridge. Those two bridge projects are moving more slowly than I had expected. I thought they might actually have an architect's/artist's drawing of the proposed bridge to show at this meeting. Seems like when they originally started talking about those projects they had a more aggressive schedule.

I'd hate to see the old Pacific Street bridge wind up in the scrap yard but I can't imagine anyone in Miles City having a great need for it. Many years ago the Town & Country Club talked about expanding to an 18-hole golf course and the new 9 holes would be on the other side of the Tongue River over by Spotted Eagle. Would be cool if they could utilize that bridge for golf cart/pedestrian traffic over to that area. Or perhaps it could be used as a pedestrian/bicycle corridor connecting the Tedesco/Denton Field/Riverside Park area into the Fairgrounds.

Ideas for Main Street? I'd like to see the BNSF property around the west side of the underpass cleaned up -- grass and some landscaping would be nice. (I have seen some discussion of doing a similar thing with the I-94/Haynes Ave. interchange -- pretty it up a little.) I'm shocked that the new St. Vincent De Paul Thrift Store is a metal-sided building. I am surprised there aren't existing building codes/design guidelines that would require a more appealing exterior on new construction in the downtown area. (I'm sure they were building on a limited budget and I'll probably be the heel for saying it -- but that is a pretty ugly building.) How about a fountain or a statue (like a life size cowboy on a horse) at the "entrance" to Main Street. Some sort of interesting focal point.

- Dave
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+11277) 19 years ago
Oooo, Dave, you are psychic! One of the possibilities for the Pacific Ave. bridge is to move it upstream and connect the Country club side with the Spotted Eagle side as part of a walk/bike path project. Problem is, moving upstream means going around the NP bridge. Moving downstream is cheaper and there is discussion of moving the bridge to connect Riverside and the ballfields. You should come to my office or the meetings and we can bring you up to speed.

If you don't show up at the April 17 meeting, I will add your suggestions to the list. Yeah, the St. V building makes my skin crawl,too. There are NO current design guidelines for the historic districts in MC but my board is working on them. Chad Sutter, a member of our board and employee of Stevenson Designs, is trying to adapt some of the guidelines from other cities, like Bozeman and Helena, for MC use. We hope to have them done this fall, then we get to see if we can convince the city to adopt them.

We CAN fix up MC! Rah ! Rah!

--amorette
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Posted by David Schott (+16313) 19 years ago
Hi Amorette,

That's great that there is some hope of saving the old Pacific Ave. bridge. It is a cool old bridge. I can see how going upstream would be a difficult task with the railroad bridge in the way. It may be more accessible and get more use in the Riverside Park area, anyway.

I'm glad to hear that efforts are under way to put in place building design guidelines for the downtown area. It's tough to balance between forcing a certain style of construction and avoiding having projects not materialize because the developer can't afford to meet the design restrictions. But, I think it's worthwhile to preserve some of the beauty of downtown -- and sometimes that may mean turning down a project.

I wish I could stop by the Preservation Office or attend the 4/17 meeting, but I live a 1000 miles away in Redmond, Washington. Nevertheless, I do take an active interest in my hometown and try to keep up with current events there. And I do applaud the efforts of those who are working to preserve Miles City's history.

- Dave
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