So far, no one has been able to use the pedestrian bridge that spans South Reserve Street and connects Missoula to the biking trail that leads down the Bitterroot. According to Missoula Redevelopment Agency Director Ellen Buchanan, the bridge was supposed to be open before winter, but a manufacturing flaw has led to delays.

“The bike path bridge over South Reserve Street has been delayed and the reason for the delay is that there was a flaw in the manufacturing process for the decking that is going on the bridge,” said Buchanan. “Those panels are composite panels that are heated so we don’t have an issue with snow removal.”

Buchanan says some of the wrong panels were installed and the company that builds them had to come and remove them.

“During the manufacturing process, something was not done correctly,” Buchanan said. “The manufacturer sent a crew in here to retrieve the decking panels that had been installed already. They manufactured corrected panels and I think they are all here now. I know we have gotten a couple of shipments in and they are being installed. We hope the bridge will be able to be open sometime this month.”

Buchanan says the cost of removing and replacing the panels will be shouldered by the manufacturer, so far, the pedestrian bridge has cost Missoula taxpayers approximately 4.2 million dollars.