Work on Missoula's crumbling Madison Street bridge will begin sooner than expected. Replacement of the bridge deck, originally planned to begin in 2020, is now slated to begin mid-June of this year, with a target completion date of August 2017.
The bridge's entire deck will be replaced and wider sidewalks added.
Governor Steve Bullock and State Department of Transportation Director Mike Tooley made the announcement in Missoula this afternoon. They joined Missoula Mayor John Engen to examine a gaping hole in the Madison Street bridge sidewalk.
Two other road projects had to be delayed in order to speed up work on the bridge. Tooley said the Madison Street bridge project is a higher priority because it serves so many people every day.
"Every project we do is important and critical, but this one, due to the use that it has every day, rose to the top," said Tooley.
He said the project is expected to cost between $7.5 to $10 million.