Riverfront Trail in winter

A bicyclist rides east through snow on the Missoula's Riverfront Trail.


The lights are out on a stretch of Missoula's Riverfront Trail that's roughly half a mile long.

Next Tuesday or Wednesday, workers will put a temporary fix in place on a portion of the trail south of the Clark Fork River, said the Missoula Parks and Recreation Department's Bob Worthen.

"Lighting is our priority concern because of the obvious safety issue of not having the trail lit," said Worthen, parks maintenance manager.

The river trail is a popular running and biking trail and also a commuter route through the city. The lights have been dark for the roughly half-mile east of the Boone and Crockett Club.

Last week, when Parks and Rec received a report the lights were out, it posted signs calling on people to wear headlamps or use a flashlight. Trails and sidewalks in Missoula have been icy in recent weeks.

The wiring for lights on the river trail is at least 20 or 30 years old, possibly more, Worthen said. Next week, he said, the city will complete a temporary retrofit, probably within a couple of days, that will turn on the lights.

In the meantime, Parks and Rec also is getting estimates for a full repair of the old wiring. Worthen said he's asking for "pole-to-pole" estimates, so the city can fix as much as it can afford.

"We won't repair any more than we have to. It's all contingent on what they find when they get in the ground," Worthen said.

No other improvements are on tap for the trail, he said.

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Higher Education Reporter

Reporter for the Missoulian