The Beartracks Bridge on Higgins Avenue in Missoula is experiencing another construction delay.
The Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) reports material availability and labor shortages are contributing to a slow down on the project.
MDT and contractor Sletten Construction are wrapping up construction on the bridge’s east side before addressing repairs on the west side, according to a press release. West side beam repairs will take about four weeks.
The project team anticipates both sides of the bridge to be open by early November.
Pedestrian and bicycle traffic will remain open on both east and west side shared-use paths, but some traffic will be detoured.
"Unfortunately, when we facilitate our repairs on the west side of the bridge, we will not be able to carry traffic on that side of the bridge,” explained MDT Engineering Project Manager Matt Straub. “We will have single-lane traffic going southbound on the bridge and the northbound traffic will be detoured through Madison Street."
A dedication ceremony for the naming of the bridge — hosted by Missoula County and Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes — is planned to take place on the bridge on Oct. 10, to coincide with Indigenous Peoples’ Day.
Updates on the Beartracks Bridge project can be found at https://www.mdt.mt.gov/pubinvolve/higginsbridge/.