Gallagator Bridge Improvements
From one end to the other, the 12-foot wide, 1.5-mile long Gallagator Trail is one of our community’s most heavily-used year-round trails, linking our vibrant downtown core, public library, and extensive natural park system with the campus of Montana State University, residential neighborhoods, schools, and museums. It is a critical component of our transportation network as well as an important recreational link with trail-side features such as stream access, community gardens, playgrounds, and a climbing boulder. To ensure continued trail user safety and sustainability, GVLT is partnering with the City of Bozeman and the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy to replace the bridge decking and railings. We will also be working with partners to install trail counters to get a better sense for how the Gallagator Trail is used so that we can continue to steward the trail in the best possible ways.
Did you know?
Seeing the end of rail traffic in 1979 on the slow-moving train dubbed the “Gallagator”, the City of Bozeman acquired the rail line in 1982 and converted it into a trail and linear park in 1988. Despite neighborhood opposition to its creation nearly 30 years ago, the Gallagator is now a beloved community asset, featured in any nearby real estate listing and referenced as a community success story.
Bogert Park/ Bozeman Creek Enhancement
As a part of the Bozeman Creek Enhancement Committee, GVLT is excited to partner on this project to reconstruct part of Bozeman Creek through Bogert Park to return the stream to a more natural and ecologically productive condition. The project will improve the floodplain, enhance vegetation, and improve safety for people and wildlife. GVLT will be leading efforts to build new trails through the improved park in the spring of 2017.
Front Street Connector
GVLT is planning a new connection that will help link the North part of Bozeman. The 1/4 mile connector trail on Front Street will start at the intersection of Rouse Avenue ans Oak Street on the Northeast side of Bozeman. This paved, multi-use path will occupy a city right-of-way and will greatly improve the safety for trail users who want to connect to the Northeast trail system coming from the west. Right now, people would have to use busy Rouse Ave. to connect with the trail network. With this added connection, people will be able to safely access the Story Mill Spur Trail, the new Story Mill Park, Path to the M, East Gallatin Recreation Area and more. This project is partially funded by the Bozeman Trails, Open Space, and Parks Bond. The total cost for this project is $215,000. Construction will begin in the summer of 2017.
West Side Trail Safety Improvements
As the major trail corridor for the rapidly growing west side of Bozeman, the West Side Trail network connects residential neighborhoods with schools, shopping, and recreation, linking from the Gallatin Valley Mall north to Baxter Lane. However, there are several roadway crossings that are inaccessible and present safety risks. In partnership with the City of Bozeman and the Western Transportation Institute, GVLT led efforts to secure funding through the Transportation Alternatives Program to improve and correct accessibility and safety of three major intersection crossings in the West Side Trail network. The project will improve trail alignments, install curb-cuts and ramps, and improve roadway crossings with intersection improvements where the West Side Trail crosses Babcock, Durston, and Oak. Look for these improvements in the summer of 2017.
Path to the ‘M’
The College ‘M’ Trail and Drinking Horse Mountain Trail are two of the most popular trails in the Gallatin Valley, with constantly overflowing parking lots. GVLT spearheaded an effort to fund a paved, multi-use pathway along Bridger Drive to the ‘M’ trailhead. The new trail will be two miles on the north side of Bridger Drive and will make it possible for people to safely get from existing trails to the trailheads. When this connection is complete, you truly will be able to go from Main Street to the Mountains entirely on trails. This project was funded by the Bozeman Trails, Open Space, and Parks bond and the Federal Land Access Program. The total cost is $4,000,000. The Federal Highway Administration, the City of Bozeman, and the US Forest Service are in charge of trail planning and construction. They anticipate the trail to be complete in 2017.