Northside Pedestrian Bridge Project
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Northside Pedestrian Bridge remains closed; extensive repairs needed
The Northside Pedestrian Bridge was a go-to for sustainable commuters, an indispensable connection between the Northside and the rest of town. Now that it is closed until structural repairs are made, it’s important to know your options.
- Scott Street Bridge: The Scott Street Bridge has bike lanes on both sides and a sidewalk on the west side. This sidewalk can be accessed on the north without having to cross Scott St itself: follow Stoddard St to the end, go under the bridge, and use the ramp to access the sidewalk. Whether walking, biking, or rolling, the bridge’s incline is fairly steep and may require some exertion to get up and some caution going down. The sidewalk has a handrail on one side and a tall fence on the other, narrowing the available space for people walking. People on bikes are encouraged to walk if using the sidewalk instead of the bike lanes.
- Orange Street Underpass: There are sidewalks running along both sides of the Orange St underpass, accessible by ramps from N 2nd St and Alder St, or by stairs from the east and west sides of N 1st St and the east side of Railroad St. Remember your lights when biking through the underpass, and be sure to walk your bicycle if using the narrow sidewalks. The City is working with MDT to address some of the crumbling sidewalk conditions and ensure the lights in the underpass are functioning properly. One side of the sidewalks will remain open during repairs.
- North 2nd Street East: Perhaps the most comfortable of these routes for people riding bikes, N 2nd St has designated bike lanes from A St to Greenough and low traffic volumes. This route does cross the tracks at grade, so give yourself a little extra time in case a train interrupts your trip. There are no sidewalks along this street, though many people use the shoulders of the roadway for walking.
- Mountain Line: The Route 3 bus has recently seen some significant changes. It has switched directions, from clockwise to counter. It now runs north on Orange St, west on N 5th, north on Worden, west on Turner, north on Dickens, west on Rodgers, south on Scott, and east on Spruce back to the transfer center. This bus runs every hour, from 5:30 am – 8:45 pm on weekdays and 8:30 am – 8:45 pm on weekends. Download the app for the best transit experience.
Improving Alternate Routes
The City and its partners are working to improve detours and alternative routes. Here are some of the steps we're taking:
- City Public Works and Mobility and Montana Department of Transportation are working to ensure lighting and sidewalks are in good condition in the Orange Street underpass
- City Parks and Recreation will prioritize snow removal and ice melt on Orange Street underpass this winter
- City Police will increase patrols in the area as pedestrians, cyclists and motorists get used to the new routes
- City crews are looking at ways to improve crosswalks and commuter visibility at several intersections along the detour routes
Bridge Damage and Repairs
The repair and safe reopening of the bridge is a top priority for Mayor Hess, the Missoula City Council, and City staff in Parks, Transportation, and administration. Below are some highlights of what's been done so far and what we're working on going forward.
- The bridge deck was scheduled for repair when engineers found cracks in the masonry the bridge supports
- Engineers regularly monitored the structure and recommended closure for safety reasons
- Engineers are analyzing the damage and design solutions to repair or replace the failing structures
- City Council has approved funding to replace the bridge deck
- Additional funding may be needed for bridge supports, and the City will explore all available funding options, included grants, state funds, and federal programs
- The City hopes to begin construction in early 2023
Subscribe to the Northside-Westside Neighborhood Council Notify Me list to receive periodic updates about the bridge project.