I was chagrined to see Bob Schweitzer's guest column (Feb. 25) criticizing former County Commissioner Jean Curtiss. County residents ought to be thanking Curtiss for her insight and courage in supporting a long-needed infrastructure improvement to the Macclay Bridge. She had the courage to call a proposed rehabilitation of the old single bridge nonsensical, which it is.
If our current commissioners vote to kill the new bridge project, the residents of Missoula County will be required to pay over $1 million in reimbursement to the Federal Highway Administration for National Environmental Policy Act study costs. In addition, Missoula County residents will be required to foot the bill for structural upgrades to the historic MacClay Bridge. These upgrades could easily exceed $1 million. Two million dollars to put lipstick on a pig!
Missoulians not living in the immediately vicinity of the proposed South Avenue bridge should be thanking Curtiss for her courage and conviction in refusing to sell out to save her position. On second thought, all Missoulians should be thanking her. When sensible, needed projects are killed to satisfy a small group’s demands, all citizens lose. The traffic improvements resulting from construction of the South Avenue Bridge will ultimately benefit all Missoulians.