Montana Department of Transportation

Active Project

Higgins Bridge logo

Higgins Avenue Bridge Rehabilitation

Project Overview

The Higgins Avenue Bridge project in Missoula will not be starting construction in January as originally planned. With only one response to the original bid package, the Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) is now working through a new schedule.

The project team met on Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020 to discuss a new timeline. While many details are yet to be finalized, MDT now plans to re-advertise the project later this spring with the goal of starting construction in the fall. Construction would likely begin in October and run through 2020; picking back up in the early spring of 2021 to be opened later that season. The project is then anticipated to be fully wrapped up in the spring of 2022, after final striping, painting, and paving have been completed.

Prior to finalizing the new bid package, MDT will continue coordinating with the contracting community to ensure pending updates mitigate risks for the contractor while also keeping the needs of the traveling public and the downtown community in mind. MDT is committed to delivering this project but must do so in a fiscally responsible manner.

Big Sky Public Relations will be providing more information as the contract and schedule are finalized. Please do not hesitate to contact Katie with any questions or concerns at 406-207-4484 or for more information.

The Higgins Avenue Bridge provides access to the heart of downtown for students, residents and visitors to the Garden City. Whether you’re heading to the Hip Strip on foot, cruising to Out to Lunch on your bike, or driving to a meeting downtown, the Higgins Avenue Bridge is a key connector for all modes of transportation.

The Montana Department of Transportation is rehabilitating the Higgins Avenue Bridge to make this a safer and more spacious bridge for everyone. Construction is scheduled to begin in early 2020.

Higgins Historic Bridge image
Image courtesy of University of Montana
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The Higgins Avenue Bridge is deteriorating. Rehabilitation is necessary to extend the life of the bridge. The deck concrete is distressed and needs to be replaced, the steel structure elements need repair and/or replacement, and the entire steel portion of the bridge needs a new protective coating of paint.

The bridge now carries far more bicyclists and pedestrians than can be comfortably accommodated. While the bridge is safe for use now, MDT has prioritized rehabilitation of the bridge so it remains in safe condition.

The Montana Department of Transportation, Federal Highways Administration and the City of Missoula are committed to good stewardship of the Higgins Avenue Bridge.

The Higgins Bridge is safe to use, and is inspected every two years. The Higgins Avenue Bridge rehabilitation will make necessary improvements to the bridge long before it would become unsafe for the public to use.

Higgins Avenue Project construction phase 1
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Recommended Pedestrian Route

Higgins Avenue Project Recommended Pedestrian Route image
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UPN 8807000