By Missoula Current
Crews began installing the decorative railing on one half of the Madison Street bridge this week, signaling the end of one phase and the beginning of the next.
With the project running on schedule, Frontier West – the general contractor – will flip traffic to the new half of the bridge as soon as next week, making room for work to begin on the other half of the structure.
Mike Murphy, owner of Frontier West, said crews will begin the second phase by removing the decking and replacing an outdated pier on the south end of the bridge.
“We’re pleased that we were able to finish the first half of the project on schedule, especially considering the severe weather that crews encountered this winter,” Murphy said.
During the second phase, crews will also rehabilitate the steel framework to aid in rust control. The second half of the project will see the underbridge closed to pedestrians.
Murphy said it was a necessary step as crews remove the road deck above.
“We recognize one upcoming challenge is helping keep trail users informed about the easiest ways to cross the river,” said Murphy. “We’re working hard to get the word out to minimize frustrations that could be created by the closure, and we appreciate the community’s patience and partnership as we work during the busy summer months.”
Pedestrians and cyclists will still be able to cross the Clark Fork River using the newly widened sidewalk on the northbound portion of the Madison Street bridge. The underbridge will reopen with the completion of the project in August.