Cyclists and walkers will soon have a continuous connection from Missoula to Hamilton.
The federal government is giving $4.5 million to connect existing trials. The new connection will run from Missoula to Lolo. It will connect the Bitterroot Branch Trail to the Bitterroot Trail in Lolo. Overall, the new system will provide a 50-mile contiguous path from downtown Missoula to the city of Hamilton.
The Bike Walk Alliance of Missoula says the City of Missoula, the county and the state all are contributing money to help complete the project, and that construction could start as early as next year.
Advocates say the connection will improve safety and provide a gateway to recreational sites.