Contractors are working this week to make repairs to some of the initial construction on the new Beartracks Bridge and that means only half of the bridge will be open to traffic this week. 

The newly-rebuilt span, formerly known as the Higgins Bridge, was dedicated as the Beartracks Bridge a few weeks ago. But some problems that developed during the initial, first phase of construction are going to have to be fixed before the bridge project is done. 

The problems first showed up last year when engineers discovered some cuts had been made into the new bridge beams. That forced the state to impose weight limits as a precaution. 

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Starting Monday morning, crews with Sletten Construction began making those repairs on the west side of the bridge. That means the bridge is only open to a single lane of southbound traffic, coming out of downtown Missoula, using the new lane that was finished this fall. Northbound traffic heading into downtown is being rerouted upstream to the Madison Street Bridge. 

MDT says the shared-use paths on both sides of the bridge remain open for bikes and pedestrians.

The state is hoping the repairs can be wrapped up in the next four weeks. 

MDT is continuing to host a weekly public Zoom meeting on the first Wednesday of the month. This week that will happen on November 2nd, at 12 pm. Registration isn't required. And you can join at this link, with the passcode 786920. 

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