Debi Meling is City Engineer of Public Works Department. Debi is an amazing person with an amazing work ethic. She is professional, knowledgeable, and more importantly personable. She and her team are proud that they can make our city better. JBN: What is the reason of putting Billings under construction this year? And where you can see construction that summer? Debi Meling: Probably the biggest project that people will see is on Central Avenue from 32nd to Zimmerman. It will go from a two lane section to five lanes with trail and sidewalk. The project is planned due to traffic use. Most people, I think will think that's a good project. So, Central Avenue will be closed during the summer for the most part. Local traffic can get in there but it is mostly closed to through traffic. King Avenue West from 44th to 48th is a water and a sewer line. Most of the time, that will actually be opened, but it's utility extensions on both sides of the road so, sometimes when they make connections they'll have to close the road, but not generally. 24th Street West from King to Central and Central Avenue from 24th to the ditch is getting an overlay. We do pavement maintenance (mill and overlay) which means we get in front of it before it needs a full reconstruction. That project looks big and it's obviously going to have a large traffic impact. There are 20,000 vehicles per day on that street. But, it only take us a few weeks to get a mill and overlay done so, it's not an all summer sort of project. Midland Road is a full rebuild from two lanes to three lanes with trail and sidewalk and extends from Mullowney to South Billings Boulevard. Our sewer replacement projects are all in alleys. They'll have some intermittent closures on 17th Street west. The Poet Street project is a full reconstruction of those streets. North 27th Street is going to be overlayed by the state next year so we want to get our water line all replaced before that happens. So, from 6th all the way up to Rimrock, we need to replace the water line. That will probably be a fall project into spring the next year because Zimmerman trail will be closed for reconstruction during July, August, and September. When Zimmerman is closed we don't want to have 27th closed at the same time. JBN: Of course, yeah. Debi Meling: So the waterline will probably go to a fall, spring 2019 project. There is a lead service replacement project between Central and Broadwater. Most of the work will be off the road so it won’t be very disruptive. From 10th to 13th and from 1st Ave N to 4th Ave N, we're going to reconstruct in the east buildings urban renewal district. Similar to what we did from 10th to 7th a few years ago, there'll be a reconstruction of that area and it's basically revitalization of that area. Hilltop and Aronson is a storm drain project. Hilltop will be closed for a few months this summer. You will be able to use Aronson during that time but Hilltop from Aronson to the east will be closed. We have a couple of trail projects in east side of the Heights, one on Kyhl Lane and one on Bitterroot, both to serve as walking areas for kids going to different schools. Briarwood and Cedar Park are both getting chip seals which means you put oil on the street and then gravel and then basically creates that new surface. –Chip seals are fast, the contractor is usually in and out of there in a day or two. — There are intersection projects at 54th and Rimrock and at Daniel and Monad. Both of those intersections will be signalized. JBN: Can you tell the the cost of some of the projects? Debi Meling: We have a big project at the wastewater plant, and the rest of them are probably $50 million. So I think we are at about $110 million this year. MDT also has several projects this summer that commuters will see. Division and 6th is getting a mill and overlay and they're also doing a mill and overlay of a section of the interstate. JBN: What amount of time you need for all these projects? Debi Meling: We try to get everything done by the end of October, because we pretty much assume that in November we're going to get some weather. Some of these are long projects, some are going to be pretty short. JBN: Did you do some analitics about how busy streets in Billings? Debi Meling: Sure. We have a map on our website that shows the traffic counts for every street that we count. If you go to the engineering website you can look at that map, you can really see where most people are traveling. JBN: Please tell us about the traffic signals in Billings... Because I notice that they work different here compare to my country. For example we have flashing green what tells you that soon it will change to yellow and than to red... Debi Meling: Traffic signals are all constructed and operated according to the federal guidelines and as new as new standards, new techniques come out, we incorporate them here in Billings. So when the flashing yellow light was added, we incorporate them as they come out. I haven’t seen the flashing green light as you have in Ukraine, but it can happen in the future. We are starting to incorporate new things differently as far as traffic control. In some areas, we have old traffic controllers so we can't adjust them to be perfectly timed because they can’t “talk” to each other. But, over the next five years we will replace all our controllers so all of them will be able talk to each other. Website: https://ci.billings.mt.us/217/Engineering-Division
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Debi Meling about city construction in Billings
Interview
Debi Meling is City Engineer of Public Works Department. Debi is an amazing person with an amazing work ethic. She is professional, knowledgeable, and more importantly personable. She and her team are proud that they can make our city better. JBN: What is the reason of putting Billings under construction this year? And where you can see construction that summer? Debi Meling: Probably the biggest project that people will see is on Central Avenue from 32nd to Zimmerman. It will go from a two lane section to five lanes with trail and sidewalk. The project is planned due to traffic use. Most people, I think will think that's a good project. So, Central Avenue will be closed during the summer for the most part. Local traffic can get in there but it is mostly closed to through traffic. King Avenue West from 44th to 48th is a water and a sewer line. Most of the time, that will actually be opened, but it's utility extensions on both sides of the road so, sometimes when they make connections they'll have to close the road, but not generally. 24th Street West from King to Central and Central Avenue from 24th to the ditch is getting an overlay. We do pavement maintenance (mill and overlay) which means we get in front of it before it needs a full reconstruction. That project looks big and it's obviously going to have a large traffic impact. There are 20,000 vehicles per day on that street. But, it only take us a few weeks to get a mill and overlay done so, it's not an all summer sort of project. Midland Road is a full rebuild from two lanes to three lanes with trail and sidewalk and extends from Mullowney to South Billings Boulevard. Our sewer replacement projects are all in alleys. They'll have some intermittent closures on 17th Street west. The Poet Street project is a full reconstruction of those streets. North 27th Street is going to be overlayed by the state next year so we want to get our water line all replaced before that happens. So, from 6th all the way up to Rimrock, we need to replace the water line. That will probably be a fall project into spring the next year because Zimmerman trail will be closed for reconstruction during July, August, and September. When Zimmerman is closed we don't want to have 27th closed at the same time. JBN: Of course, yeah. Debi Meling: So the waterline will probably go to a fall, spring 2019 project. There is a lead service replacement project between Central and Broadwater. Most of the work will be off the road so it won’t be very disruptive. From 10th to 13th and from 1st Ave N to 4th Ave N, we're going to reconstruct in the east buildings urban renewal district. Similar to what we did from 10th to 7th a few years ago, there'll be a reconstruction of that area and it's basically revitalization of that area. Hilltop and Aronson is a storm drain project. Hilltop will be closed for a few months this summer. You will be able to use Aronson during that time but Hilltop from Aronson to the east will be closed. We have a couple of trail projects in east side of the Heights, one on Kyhl Lane and one on Bitterroot, both to serve as walking areas for kids going to different schools. Briarwood and Cedar Park are both getting chip seals which means you put oil on the street and then gravel and then basically creates that new surface. –Chip seals are fast, the contractor is usually in and out of there in a day or two. — There are intersection projects at 54th and Rimrock and at Daniel and Monad. Both of those intersections will be signalized. JBN: Can you tell the the cost of some of the projects? Debi Meling: We have a big project at the wastewater plant, and the rest of them are probably $50 million. So I think we are at about $110 million this year. MDT also has several projects this summer that commuters will see. Division and 6th is getting a mill and overlay and they're also doing a mill and overlay of a section of the interstate. JBN: What amount of time you need for all these projects? Debi Meling: We try to get everything done by the end of October, because we pretty much assume that in November we're going to get some weather. Some of these are long projects, some are going to be pretty short. JBN: Did you do some analitics about how busy streets in Billings? Debi Meling: Sure. We have a map on our website that shows the traffic counts for every street that we count. If you go to the engineering website you can look at that map, you can really see where most people are traveling. JBN: Please tell us about the traffic signals in Billings... Because I notice that they work different here compare to my country. For example we have flashing green what tells you that soon it will change to yellow and than to red... Debi Meling: Traffic signals are all constructed and operated according to the federal guidelines and as new as new standards, new techniques come out, we incorporate them here in Billings. So when the flashing yellow light was added, we incorporate them as they come out. I haven’t seen the flashing green light as you have in Ukraine, but it can happen in the future. We are starting to incorporate new things differently as far as traffic control. In some areas, we have old traffic controllers so we can't adjust them to be perfectly timed because they can’t “talk” to each other. But, over the next five years we will replace all our controllers so all of them will be able talk to each other. Website: https://ci.billings.mt.us/217/Engineering-Division
Johnson’s Billings News
Interview
Hosted by Johnson Computing
They are read.  We are Quoted!!!
Debi Meling about city construction in Billings