If you've been over the Russell Street bridge lately and thought to yourself, "I love all this construction!  I could go for a little more!", this is the news you've been waiting for.

Members of the City Council approved an agreement that clears the way for construction on the 1962 built Higgins Avenue bridge to begin late this year or in early spring of 2020.

The Montana Department of Transportation expects the bridge's facelift to be a year-long project.  Costs are estimated near $16 million with the city's share at $1.7 million.

It sounds like it will be roomier and pleasant bridge crossing experience when it's completed.  The new-look bridge will feature four lanes of traffic, have wider bike and pedestrian lanes in both directions, and have rails to separate vehicle traffic from foot and bike traffic.

The plan is to work on half the bridge while two lanes remain open.  Hopefully it will be timed out so that the Missoula Marathon can still use the bridge for next year's race.

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