Street-Traffic Repairs & Maintenance
The Public Works Department repairs and maintains over 500 miles City owned transportation surfaces including streets, alleys, sidewalks and multi-use trails. The Department also manages over 4,000 street lights, and over 30,000 traffic signs. There are 113 signalized intersections and the signal control system to maintain as well.
Report a Concern/ Request a Repair
We can be reached by phone or email at Street-Traffic Maintenance for immediate assistance.
To report a non-emergent concern, please use an online form:
- Maintenance Reporting
- Pothole Reporting
- Storm Sewer Reporting
- Street Light Reporting*
- Traffic Sign Reporting
- Traffic Signal Reporting
*Street lights should have identification located on the pole. A white tag with black numbers is managed by Northwestern Energy (888-467-2669). An orange tag with black numbers is managed by the City.
Department crews also provide for the care and maintenance of the green spaces that protect and beautify our streets and traffic control features. Overall, we care for:
- 618 trees
- 350 irrigation zones (about 20 miles)
- 4800 plants
- 40 miles mowing maintenance
- Arterial & Residential Streets
- Sidewalks & Multi-use Trails
- State Maintained Roadways
- Assessments & Districts
The annual maintenance program includes sweeping, surfacing repairs, pothole repairs and line painting to ensure the safest traveling conditions are provided to City transportation system users.
- 35+ miles of streets repaired (chip/ crack seal) annually
- 500+ miles of street lines painted annually
- 450+ crosswalks painted annually
- 300+ intersections painted annually
The Area Sweeping Program allows limited personnel and equipment to efficiently and effectively sweep the City’s extensive street and trail systems. The sweeping program operates as weather and other conditions allow. Typically this operation is completed 2-3 times annually, with over 8,000 cubic yards of material removed from transportation surfaces. Sweeping Map
The City utilizes three preventative maintenance procedures each year. This consists of a crack seal, a chip seal and an overlay. Each of these processes help to mitigate the deterioration of our City streets.
As asphalt pavement progresses through its performance life cycle, its appearance diminishes over time. Fine hairline cracks spread and deepen within the asphalt. Without ongoing maintenance, water may enter through cracks and holes may form, undermining the substrate. In this case, the most effective form of repair is to remove and replace the deteriorated area.
As soon as freshly laid hot asphalt pavement mix begins to cool, the aging process begins. When oxygen in the air and water combine with asphaltic binder of the pavement, a chemical change takes place. At first, this process is necessary for the pavement to become hard and firm. Later, if this process is not arrested, a complete deterioration of the asphaltic binder will take place and reduce the pavement to a layer of loose stone. Exposure to gasoline, oil, inclement weather, salt, and sunlight contribute to the deterioration of asphalt.
The overlay process replaces existing deteriorated asphalt surfaces with new asphalt. Generally, the top two inches are milled off as a first step. Once this layer has been removed any exposed problem areas are removed and replaced in a dig-out process. The surface is then prepared and a new two inches of asphalt is put in place. Hot Mix Asphalt pavement is produced by heating liquid asphalt and mixing it with aggregate, this mix is then spread and compacted to form a durable road structure and riding surface.
The chip seal process uses the same ingredients as asphalt concrete paving, but the construction method is different. With chip seals, a thin film of heated asphalt liquid is sprayed on the road surface, followed by the placement of small aggregates ("chips"). The chips are then compacted to orient the chips for maximum adherence to the asphalt, and excess stone is swept from the surface. The ingredients of hot mix asphalt and chip seals are the same; only the construction methods are different. The chip seal process is a cost effective solution that can help extend the life of an asphalt surface between overlays while continuing to provide a safe and well maintained surface for the traveling public.
The crack seal process uses specialized materials that bond to the walls of the crack, while being able to move with the pavement as it expands and contracts, preventing intrusion of water and debris into the crack and preventing continued deterioration at the crack site. Like the chip seal process this tactic is a cost effective way to extend the life of an asphalt surface, reducing the number of overlays needed over time while maintaining a safest conditions possible for the traveling public.
Sidewalk Construction & Maintenance
The Public Works Department actively works to identify and correct hazards in our community. These efforts include addressing sidewalk repair or construction needs through the Sidewalk Repair and Construction Programs.
Sidewalk Snow Removal Ordinance
City Ordinance requires property owners or their tenants to remove snow from public sidewalks adjacent to their property within 24 hours of a snow fall. A fine may be issued if sidewalks are not shoveled. To report sidewalks that have not been shoveled, call the City Complaint Line at 406-657-8267.
The trail system throughout the City of Billings is a vital community resource, used for both recreation and commuting, it offers a variety of opportunities for residents to enjoy.
The Public Works Department provides general maintenance such as sweeping and snow removal services for many area trails. See a full list HERE.
State Maintained Routes
For more than 30 years, the Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) has contracted with the City of Billings for street maintenance on state routes. However, beginning in July 2011 the MDT has opted to maintain their own routes. Maintenance includes:
- Ice control
- Sign replacement
- Signal maintenance
- Snow plowing
- Snow removal
- Storm sewer repair
- Street patching
- Street striping
- Vegetation control
Roads Now Maintained by MDT
The following are the roads previously maintained by the City which are now maintained by the MDT:
- Laurel Road from Parkway Lane to the Sixth Street West overpass
- Montana Avenue from the 6th Street West overpass to Division Street
- Division Street from Montana Avenue to First Avenue North
- First Avenue North from Main Street to Division Street
- All of the streets constructed in conjunction with the Sixth Street West overpass
- First Avenue South - Minnesota Avenue connection from Sixth Street West overpass through the North 13th Street overpass to First Avenue North
- North 13th from First Avenue North to Fourth Avenue North
- Fourth Avenue North from North 13th Street to Main Street
- Intersection of First Avenue North, Main Street, and Highway 87 East to 500 feet east on 87 East to the overhead sign
- Main Street from First Avenue North to the southwest side of the Roundup Road turnoff
- North and South 27th Street from the north right-of-way of Belknap Avenue through the roundabout at the intersection of North 27th Street and State Highway 3
- King Avenue from 24th Street West to Mullowney Lane
Please call the MDT at 406-252-4138 for questions or concerns regarding any of the above streets.
Arterial Construction Fee Assessments
The City Council passed Ordinance 04-5300 adopting arterial construction fees in 2004. Arterial construction fees are assessed citywide regardless of the parcel’s proximity to designated arterial roadways. The arterial construction fee is a community cost, borne by the entire community. While the method of calculating assessments may not be perfect, it is equitable in that fees are based on square footage and zoning to categorize properties with respect to their current or potential ability to contribute traffic to the arterial street system (e.g., commercial and multifamily properties paying more because they generate more traffic). Arterial construction fees may be used to construct or reconstruct arterial roadways.
Owners of specific properties in Billings can petition for a reduction in their arterial construction fee assessment. The reductions are available for properties that are zoned either commercial or residential manufactured home and are currently owner-occupied solely as a single family residence.
Arterial construction fees are assessed on the annual tax notices that are sent out each November. Petitions need to be completed and returned to the Public Works Department by August 31 of each year to provide a reduction of the arterial construction fee for the applicable tax year.
Special Improvement Districts
The City of Billings has chosen to utilize the practice of Special Improvement Districts for the construction of certain public improvements. This practices ensures that tax dollars are spent on an equitable basis and keeps general taxes as reasonable as possible. A Special Improvement District (SID) is a group of properties that become a legal entity in order to construct public improvements. Some improvements may include streets, curbs, gutters, sidewalks, water, sanitary sewer, storm sewer, etc. Assessments are spread among all properties within the district boundaries.Improvement costs are carried by property owners within the SID boundaries. For additional information regarding SIDs, please contact the City Engineer’s Office at 406-657-8231.
Street Light Districts
Street lighting in Billings is provided through neighborhood street lighting districts to increase nighttime safety and security. These districts are created under state law and are officially called Special Improvement Light Maintenance Districts (SILMDs). An SILMD can be created through petition with signatures of over 50% of the property owners in an area requesting lights. A district can also be initiated by the City as long as fewer than 50% of the property owners file written protest. Information on creating a light district in your neighborhood can be obtained by contacting the City Engineer’s Office at 406-657-8231. Street Light District Map
Street Maintenance Districts
The Billings City Council, using methods established in the MCA, developed the current City Street Maintenance District (SMD) assessment process that calculates assessments on the lot size basis. There are currently two districts, SMD #1 is generally the downtown area and SMD #2 is the entire City. There are currently no provisions for exempting all or a portion of street maintenance assessments within the BMCC or the MCA.
Street maintenance activities include snow plowing, sanding, deicing, pothole patching, sweeping, signing, striping, curb and gutter repair, vegetation control, etc.
View a full list of Assessment Descriptions and Contacts