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Storm drain installation affecting Great Falls traffic

River Drive North Construction
Posted at 11:17 AM, Sep 20, 2023

GREAT FALLS — At Milwaukee Station, River Drive North is closed to southbound traffic as a storm drain expansion takes place in conjunction with the ongoing construction of Lofts At The Station.

The five-story complex will feature 121 apartment units, along with three restaurant spaces and a coffee shop available to lease. Plans also include an on-site wellness studio which includes a gym with state-of-the-art fitness equipment, a physical therapy center, and a massage therapy studio.

 “We have to do an expansion of the storm drain for the development of the new apartment complex [be]cause of the parking capacity and storm run-off,” Brian Bretz, a Capcon construction partner said, “So right now we’re installing the storm drain expansion.”

The Drive is closed between 1st Avenue North and 6th Street North. In a Facebook post, Great Falls Parks and Recreation announced that the River's Edge Trail is also closed from just north of the Central Avenue bridge heading north until the River Drive North crossing at the Riverside Railyard Skate parking area.

Capcon has had the road closed since September 12, digging up the current pipe in order to fit the expansion.

 “All the water has to go somewhere so there’s not erosion and to prevent sediment from getting into the river,” Bretz said.

 River Drive North is a popular truck route, and Capcon decided it was easier to divert southbound traffic rather than make a one lane road that switches back and forth.

 “For now, just [be]cause it’s easier to divert truck traffic around instead of flopping them back and forth and then confusing everybody,” Bretz said.

 The storm drain expansion is being done for the upcoming Milwaukee Station apartments, which will have 121 units available next summer. While the construction is disrupting, it should be cleared up by the end of the week.

 “We should be done with all the road this week, it’ll be opened back up,” Bretz said, “And then we’ll be on sight for another two weeks, and then we’ll be out of here.”