If you've driven down Higgins over the past few months, you're likely already aware that there's a ton of construction happening on the bridge over there. It can be pretty frustrating and cramped for drivers, but it has been cool to see the progress happening there. I walked past it a few days ago and one side of the bridge is like, just gone. It's wild!

It'll hopefully all be worth it in the end - once construction is completed, the bridge should be wider, giving more space to drivers, and it'll look pretty nice, too. And it seems like we could be getting a new name to go along with it.

The Missoula City Council, with the support of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, is recommending to the Montana Transportation Commission that the new bridge be given a new name: the Bear Tracks Bridge.

The potential new name holds significance to indigenous people in the area - in 1891, roughly 300 Salish People were forcibly moved to the Flathead reservation, many lead by a sub-chief named Louis Vanderburg, who crossed the Clark Fork River on the Higgins Bridge during their relocation. His father was another sub-chief named Sx͏ʷix͏ʷ͏uytis Smx̣e, which translates to: Grizzly Bear Tracks.

There's more about the history of Grizzly Bear Tracks at the Missoula Current article linked to above, and the bridge is scheduled to be completed later this year. It's cool that they're trying to use this opportunity to pay tribute to indigenous people in the area. What do you think of calling it the Bear Tracks Bridge?

Photos From Missoula's MMIWG Awareness Walk