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Construction Mistakes Force Weight Limit On Missoula's Beartracks Bridge

 Construction on the northbound lane of Beartracks Bridge in Missoula, MT, July 22, 2021.
Megan Johnson
/
Montana Public Radio
Construction on the northbound lane of Beartracks Bridge in Missoula, MT, July 22, 2021.

The state Department of Transportation this week said construction crews made mistakes during the construction of the Beartracks bridge in downtown Missoula.

MDT Missoula District Administrator Bob Vosen says when crews were removing the old concrete bridge deck, they inadvertently made cuts into the bridge girders which still support the new bridge. The transportation department is working with Sletten Construction to make repairs.

A 10-ton load restriction is in place on the bridge, previously known as the Higgins Avenue bridge, until further notice.

“I would ask that people that are getting ready to go camping for the weekend be aware, because a lot of the big campers and the heavy pickups with the overhead camper pulling a boat, those may exceed that 10-ton limit,” Vosen says.

According to Vosen, there is no timeline or projected costs for the needed repairs, but that the bridge is safe for pedestrians, bikers and the daily use of passenger vehicles.

Vosen says there have been no initial conversations about who will pay for fixes. Sletten was awarded the bridge contract for nearly $17 million. It’s unclear how the repairs will impact the project's initial completion timeline of late next spring or early summer.

Copyright 2021 Montana Public Radio. To see more, visit Montana Public Radio.

Aidan Morton