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Missoula County Commissioners dive into South Bridge details

Posted at 8:23 AM, Mar 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-12 10:24:07-04

MISSOULA – Missoula County commissioners will dive into the details this week, as they continue to review a strategy for the South Avenue Bridge project.

The commissioners are taking time to review the long-planned project after the board developed concerns about the plans for the project, which would place a new bridge over the Bitterroot River replacing the old one-lane Maclay Bridge.

Maclay Bridge
The project calls for a new bridge over the Bitterroot River to replace the old one-lane Maclay Bridge. (MTN News photo)

While the project is being funded by the state and Federal Highway Administration, commissioners have questions over the viability and impacts of the project, especially the concept of locating the new bridge as an extension of South Avenue.

Those agencies told commissioners last month that the county could be liable for reimbursing up to $1 million in design and engineering costs unless the county meets with its engineers and comes up with problems that haven’t been addressed before.

Commissioners will meet with HDR Engineering on Tuesday morning to discuss the project thus far, and whether the environmental analysis should be amended to include three options, “no build”, Maclay Bridge rehabilitation and the new South Avenue Bridge.