MISSOULA -The West Broadway Island bridge improvement project has been delayed due to inclement weather.
The work was scheduled to start Monday and upon its completion, will allow easier access to the island which is city-owned conservation land.
The project includes a new pedestrian bridge to the island, improvements to the utility bridge at the south end of Burton Street, an extension of a pedestrian trail between the two bridges and access improvements at the river’s edge, including a small paved parking area and better access to the bridges and new trail.
The island conservation area and a small informal parking area off Burton Street will be closed to the public starting Monday. Construction is weather-dependent and could last through the end of May.
The cost of the project is $500,000, funded by Tax Increment Funding through the Missoula Redevelopment Agency. In addition, Hellgate Valley Irrigation Company is also contributing $10,000 to the project.
The project aims to protect and enhance the recreational value of the island. Its natural setting includes views, river sounds, birds and small wildlife, according to a news release.
“In the 1980s, the Missoula community decided that after a century of neglect and degradation, the Clark Fork River should be its greatest natural asset in the urban area, providing opportunities to enjoy nature while protecting the water quality of the river and our aquifer,” said Chris Behan with the MDA.
“Providing parks, trails and natural areas in the greater downtown area also attracts private investors who change the nearby deteriorating environment,” Behan added.
-information from Connor McCauley included in this report