Higgins Avenue Bridge Rehabilitation
The Montana Department of Transportation is conducting an open house meeting to discuss the proposal to rehabilitate the Higgins Avenue Bridge over the Clark Fork River in Missoula.
The meeting will be held in Missoula on Wednesday, April 4, from 3:00 – 8:00 p.m. at the Wilma Theater (131 South Higgins Avenue). Project team members will be available during the meeting to discuss the project.
Originally constructed in 1962, the Higgins Avenue Bridge is deteriorating and is in need of rehabilitation to extend the life of the bridge. Various structural elements are in need of repair and the concrete deck requires replacement. Additionally, the Higgins Avenue Bridge is a vital transportation link across the Clark Fork River that has been identified by the City of Missoula as a priority for improving multimodal transportation. The objectives of this project are to repair or rehabilitate the deteriorated elements of the bridge in a cost-effective manner and improve multimodal transportation facilities across the bridge to the extent practicable.
The structural rehabilitation of the bridge will include the following elements: bridge deck replacement; repair the steel superstructure as needed; spot painting the steel superstructure; repair or replace bearings as needed; and minor repairs to the concrete substructure units.
Multimodal transportation enhancements on the Higgins Avenue Bridge will include widening the bridge to provide for separated shared-use paths on both sides of the bridge. Past coordination between MDT, City of Missoula, and stakeholders have determined a typical cross section for the bridge. The preliminary typical section includes a 12-foot-wide shared bicycle-pedestrian space on the east side, a 46-ft roadway, and a 13-ft shared bicycle-pedestrian space on the west side. The east edge of bridge will be maintained and the widening will occur to the west. The existing bridge piers located on dry land will be widened to the west to accommodate an additional beam line to support the wider shared bicycle-pedestrian space. Over the river, the wider shared bicycle-pedestrian space will be supported using a cantilever bracket to avoid work in the river. The existing and proposed bridge typical sections are shown below.