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Scott Street bridge work to begin

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Scott Street bridge work to begin
Work on the Scott Street bridge will force motorists to detour around the construction for three months.

The traveling public will be detoured for about three months starting Monday while the Scott Street overpass is rebuilt and resurfaced.

The project will result in a new deck for the two center spans of the 1979-vintage bridge, along with a new latex concrete overlay over the entire span. And that, according to city Public Works director Steve King, is why the project

will take three months to complete.

"They're completely removing all of the concrete, all of the metalwork," King explained. "Basically they're going to start down to the metal and build it back up again. So there's the whole sequence of demolition and reconstruction."

King also said there are about 28 days of "cure time" for new concrete built into the project length.

"It's a bigger deal than just a resurfacing," King said.

Money from the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is funding the project. And the savings, based on the cost estimate of the project, are significant.

According to King and project manager Greg Wood, the estimated cost for the project was

$2.9 million. The winning bid came in at $1.8 million.

Traffic will be rerouted with posted detour signs. Last year, in anticipation of the project, the city widened the road and added a turn lane at North Fifth and Orange streets to help traffic flow.

The Missoula Police Department and emergency responders anticipate the same response times from their downtown stations. Police will provide extra patrols in the adjoining neighborhoods to ensure availability and to enforce traffic laws.

Police also will step up patrols at the pedestrian overpass, paying special attention to areas where detour routes can be improved.

Reporter Bill Schwanke can be reached at 523-55493 or at bschwanke@

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