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New Higgins Bridge designs show off modern, more roomy decks

Posted at 2:42 PM, Jan 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-30 18:16:30-05

MISSOULA – The latest designs for the rebuilt Higgins Avenue Bridge show a structure with more room, and safety, for cars, pedestrians and bikes.

Montana Department of Transportation engineers are also confident that they’ve come up with a way to make the changes with as little disruption as possible.

Higgins Bridge reconstruction will address traffic, pedestrian improvements
MDT accelerates planning for Higgins Avenue Bridge rebuild

MDT was showcasing the designs and taking input from Missoula residents during a public open house on Tuesday night, the latest in a series of meetings on the multi-million project.

The plans call for rebuilding the bridge in two phases, using the same approach that was employed on the Madison Street Bridge two years ago.

Northbound and southbound traffic will be crossing one half of the bridge, while the deck on the opposite two lanes is replaced. Then traffic will be shifted to the new deck while the second is replaced.

The bridge will also have some structural work with the biggest changes being the expansion of the sidewalks to accommodate both pedestrians and bicycles.

That means bikes will no longer have to mix with the cars, and people crossing the bridge on foot will have more than twice the room.

The plans call for getting the contract out to bid later this summer, with work starting in the next construction season.

Click here to learn more about the Higgins Avenue Bridge project.

Reporting by Dennis Bragg for MTN News