MISSOULA — The Montana Department of Transportation engineers are sharing their plans to try and squeeze traffic and pedestrians across the busy Higgins Avenue Bridge with reconstruction set to start next year.
The bridge handles tens of thousands of cars -- plus considerable bike and pedestrian traffic -- every day. Add in the proximity to all the community events at Caras Park and it's a complicated place to work.
But MDT officials believe they've been able to develop a plan which will accommodate all those uses, and construction crews, as well as possible. As with the recent Madison Street Bridge repair project, traffic will remain open, replacing a span at a time with limited closures.
However, engineers say cyclists might want to use an alternate route, since the existing bike lane will be needed for cars. Pedestrians will get through, but may want to allow additional time during the first six months of the project.
Engineers will be available at the open house Wednesday afternoon from 4 to 6 p.m. in the new Residence Inn's McLeod-Hammond Room downtown.
The work is expected to last for 18 months. The MDT offers more information about the Higgins Avenue Bridge project on their website.