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MDT rejects bid, Missoula bridge project now facing delays

Posted at 9:28 AM, Dec 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-20 21:20:28-05

The rebuilding of the Higgins Avenue Bridge in downtown Missoula is now on hold.

The Montana Transportation Commission voted against awarding the project contract to the sole bidder on Friday morning.

High cost and the ability to adjust the contract to secure lower bids were cited as the main reasons the Commission did not vote to award the project, according to a news release.

The Higgins Avenue Bridge construction will not begin in January 2020 and MDT will now update and re-advertise the contract.

MDT staff will also develop an adjusted schedule for the project and will have updates for the public in early 2020.

The Montana Transportation Commission's decision to not award the contract was unanimous.

The sole bid reached $37,708,483.03, more than double MDT’s estimate of $16,697,189.06.

MDT officials say they remain committed to delivering the project in 2020/2021.

State transportation officials note that the bridge is structurally sound.