Hot Bridge Holiday Weekend Fun Time In Big Sky Country

by Travis Mateer

Bridges are fun, and since Missoula has a river that runs through it, bridges are VERY important for a number of reasons. But sometimes our forward-thinking bridge-builders have challenges, like making bridges that pose a risk to the padded paws of your pooch.

Around this time last year I wrote a post asking why are Missoula bridges plagued with problems? The heat problem on the renamed expanse over the Clark Fork river got a short-term fix last year, and this year the problem persists. From the link:

With temperatures climbing into the 90s Monday and Tuesday, the Beartracks Bridge on Higgins Avenue was conspicuously free of dogs.

Instead of crossing the exposed walkway over the Clark Fork River, dog walkers congregated on the trail below the avenue, where the asphalt surface provided a gentler experience for sensitive dog paws.

The Montana Department of Transportation is in the process of redoing the west-side shared-use path, because the fiberglass reinforced panels used in its original construction have proved too hot for safe dog walking on the path.

Yep, those fiberglass panels were supposed to be a cost-savers, but the opposite happened. Shocker.

The fiberglass reinforced panels built into the path were initially used for their lightweight and durable construction, Fife explained, but the project team wasn’t aware the materials could reach extreme heats.

Is there any economic sector more forgiving of failure than the public sector? I don’t think so.

With the holiday weekend about to kick off, and danger lurking in places you might not expect it, please be careful out there because the institutions you assume will come to your rescue if you need it don’t function anymore as intended.

Thanks for reading!

About Travis Mateer

I'm an artist and citizen journalist living and writing in Montana. You can contact me here: willskink at yahoo dot com
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply