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In 1948 John Maclay donated land to Missoula County for a road on the west side of the Bitterroot River opposite the end of South Avenue on the east side with the idea that a bridge would be built there. Missoula County has been dragging its feet ever since.

Meanwhile, school buses and people living on the west side of the river detour a half mile around to get back onto South Avenue. The issue has been studied numerous times and always comes up with the same answer: Build a bridge at the west end of South Avenue.

It's just common sense. Federal gas tax money is now available. If Missoula County chooses to rehabilitate the old, structurally deficient Maclay bridge to safe state and federal road standards, all Missoula County taxpayers will get to pay for the removal of four homes to allow for proper sight distance and curves.

Hopefully common sense will prevail this time.

Don Stevenson,


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