Will Sidewalks Close Again Due To Beartracks Bridge Construction?
There's been a lot of new updates surrounding the construction of the Beartracks Bridge on Higgins lately. First, there was the whole thing where it turned out the walkway was too hot for dogs to walk on, but they've come up with a temporary solution with the strip of white paint that cools it down. Then they imposed a 10-ton weight limit on the bridge, so vehicles like firetrucks need to be rerouted rather than cross. And now, local businesses are wondering if sidewalks by the bridge are going to be closed down again.
Sidewalks were closed towards the beginning of the construction, but they've been reopen for some time now. But now, the Montana Department of Transportation is finding more issues with the bridge involving old steel plates, and it's unclear on whether they'll need to close the sidewalks again to fix the problem.
If they do, it could be a big financial blow to the businesses surrounding the bridge. NBC Montana spoke to a few of them about the potential closure, and the resounding conclusion is that without foot traffic, it's much more difficult to bring customers in. If they do have to close sidewalks, it seems like the hope is that they'll wait until winter, preferably just after Christmas. Since those are traditionally slower months anyway, the closure would have less impact - one business owner mentioned that one good day in the summer could make them more money than the entire month of January, which is a pretty staggering statistic.
How do you feel about the new Beartracks Bridge so far?