Missoula Mayor John Engen, former mayor Dan Kemmis  and the Missoula Redevelopment Agency were very happy folks, as what is officially called 'The South Reserve Bitterroot Trail Bridge  (A Facebook Live video) held its grand opening on Saturday.

The 707 foot long bridge includes a 190 foot span over the always busy Reserve Street. It senses when there is snowy weather and the heating system within the fiber reinforced polymer deck panels will automatically turn on to melt snow and ice from the surface.

Engen said the bridge is another example of what can happen when communities work together.

"Pieces like this are signatures in the community, places where people can gather and move, and great cities are made of great parts and pieces and his bridge is a great part," Engen said. "This was funded through the Missoula Redevelopment Agency, so we used tax increment financing which means no one's taxes got raised, it comes from the growth that's happening in the area and south Missoula has undergone tremendous growth in the past couple of years."

Senior project coordinator for the Missoula Redevelopment Agency, Todd Gass, said the overall cost of the project was a little over $4.17 million.

The bridge connects downtown Missoula to the 50-mile trail all the way down U.S. Highway 93 South to Hamilton,

And...it is finally open!

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