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Madison and Higgins Bridges

The bridges on Madison Street and Higgins Avenue are in poor condition and will require some work in upcoming years.  The Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) recently released a draft planning study report that identifies some broad options for improvements for both bridges, and is basically the first step in the process.  The document recommends only four lane configurations for further consideration.  

The Missoula Chamber commented on the planning study and asked decision makers to:

  • Preserve both bridge's existing vehicle capacity by keeping four lanes.
  • Consider both major rehabilitation and replacement as potential options.
  • Perform a structural analysis to determine if the bridge decks can be widened without replacing the bridges.
  • If possible, consider widening the decks to improve bicycle lanes and pedestrian walkways.
  • Retain the Madison under bridge and consider improving both bridges' connections to the nearby trail system and other non-motorized facilities.
  • Keep the projects moving forward by being prepared to compromise.  In a world of limited funding, a protracted debate between the city and state over design features serves no one's best interests.

The Chamber continues to work with planners and stakeholders as the projects move forward.  

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