The Higgins Avenue ‘Beartracks’ bridge will experience some closures this evening, said John Schmidt, district construction engineer with the Montana Department of Transportation, due to the fact that the highly anticipated bridge beams are set to be put in place.

"We got some of the replacement stringers that came in to replace those ones that were damaged," said Schmidt. "And so we're going to have a nighttime closure here tonight to set those and then we'll start working on some more of the important work and just continue progress. There's five members out there. So the ones we're going to work on are the three that are in the middle of what you can see that's exposed, and then we do have work to do on the outside too as well.

Schmidt provided a safety reminder for those crossing the bridge during construction.

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"We just ask people to remember the three 'S's' of Work Zone Safety which are speed,  space and stress," he said. "So slow down when approaching work zones, follow the posted speed limits and make sure and leave adequate room between you and the vehicle or pedestrian in front of you so that you have room to stop. So keep your cool, pay attention, and plan for delays."

Schmidt expressed confidence that the bridge project will be completed on schedule.

"We're still feeling good for getting that east side open in our June time frame and we're still working towards that," he said. "We're planning on having a grand opening in July and right now we don't see any issues with that. There may still be some intermittent closures just depending on how weather and construction goes."

The bridge will be closed tonight beginning at 8:00 p.m. through tomorrow until 7:00 a.m. All traffic will need to use alternate routes during this time. Message boards are in place at both ends of the bridge to indicate closure dates and times. The pedestrian walkway will remain open.

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