Dump trucks - lots of them - will be making many trips back and forth from the Hamilton's Rocky Mountain Laboratories (RML) on South 4th Street, possibly starting as early as Monday, November 29. The parade of trucks - up to 50 trips a day - is the beginning of construction for a new animal holding area center at the RML campus.

The trucks will be removing soil from the building site and that process should take up to two months, according to a news release from the lab. The approaching trucks will be turning from US 93 onto Desta Street and then will be entering the lab area from South 5th Street. When they're loaded with dirt, they'll be leaving through the south 6th Street gate. From there, the vehicles will use Ravalli Street to get back to US 93. Officials say the plans from contactor Hensel Phelps call for work to between the hours of 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, with some work done on the weekends.

Altogether, the new RML Comparative Medicine Center will take about two years to construct and will also include work on aging water lines, which is being done in coordination with the City of Hamilton. Work at South 6th and Baker Streets is complete, but the excavation and repair of water lines will continue along Baker Street to Grove Street. The results are two-fold - better water lines into the lab and increased water flows in the city, too.

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The project has been discussed at previous meetings of the lab's Community Liaison Group, and more information can be requested by e-mail at: askrml@niaid.nih.gov. If you have a problem with noise from the Rocky Mountain Labs site, you can call 406 363-9400. For other general questions, call 406 375-9690. In another project, new Rocky Mountain Laboratories signs will soon be installed at the corner of 4th and Grove Streets, with a smaller directional sign at the corner of 4th and Baker Streets.

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