Maclay Bridge project is back in the news. Most people in the county think "we have been hearing this stuff for years and I don’t care."
Maclay Bridge is categorized by experts as functionally obsolete and fracture critical. The approaches result in accidents; the piers create scour holes; weight limits restrict fire response and there are no bike/ped facilities. If some of the commissioners decide to play politics and tell the Federal Highway Administration they don’t want to continue the project without a legitimate reason, taxpayers will pay back the $1 million-plus dollars spent on the project to date through local property taxes.
Years of study, engineering and environmental review led to the preferred alternative: a new bridge aligned with South Avenue to replace the Maclay Bridge. It will be funded with federal gas tax dollars through the federal Off System Bridge Program, not the county bridge fund. The choice is based on facts, science, engineering, Montana Environmental Policy Act and National Environmental Policy Act review. Rehab of Maclay was analyzed. All the documents are available at www.southavenuebridge.com.
All the documentation supports building the South Avenue Bridge. Contact the commissioners and ask them to consider facts, not rhetoric.