MISSOULA — The deck heating operations system on the South Reserve Street Pedestrian Bridge will soon see some improvements.
The Missoula Redevelopment Agency (MRA) Board of Directors approved a $30,000 expenditure on Monday for the work. The bridge has experienced issues with snow removal since it was put into service years ago.
The bridge decking is made of composite panels that contain heating elements designed to melt snow and be carried off through a downspout drainage system. However, when the temperature drops below 20°, the snow refreezes before it is carried away creating a hazardous situation for bridge users.
City Parks reached out to the contractor, Anchor Electric and Controls, who provided a programming and software solution that provides both corrective measures and enhancements to the current system.
“Missoula was a bit of a guinea pig. This was the first time this system had been used, and we’re confident that if we made those modifications that it will not only melt the snow and the frost, but it will also carry the moisture off of the bridge so that it doesn’t refreeze," said MRA director Ellen Buchanan.
The MRA also sent a "Demand Letter" to South Reserve Street Pedestrian Bridge builders, Jackson Contractor Group, for reimbursement of over $15,000 for the modifications required to meet their obligations under the original agreement.