It's pretty crazy when you take a moment to realize that construction started on the formerly named Higgins Avenue Bridge back in the fall of 2020. With everything that was happening with COVID at the time and everything that has happened since then, it seems like a lifetime ago that they started the work on what is now known as Beartracks Bridge. With the bridge under construction, if there's anything positive to take from the Missoula Marathon not happening the last two years due to COVID it would be the fact that we didn't have to worry about an alternative to having the marathon's finish line on the bridge.

The Missoula Marathon returns for 2022. Where will the finish line be?

The marathon makes its triumphant return to Missoula on June 24. Race weekend will be welcomed back by not only the runners but by businesses that are sure to be excited by the number of people visiting Missoula for the event. A lot of the activities of marathon weekend will be familiar but one part of the race will need to be altered a bit. A Montana Right Now article highlights how Construction on Beartracks Bridge won't be finished which means the finish line for the race won't be able to reach across all lanes of the bridge as it normally has. With work continuing on the east side lanes, the finish line will only use the two lanes on the west side of the bridge this year.

Kristine Fife from Big Sky Public Relations provided the following comment about this year's unusual situation:

An incredible amount of effort was exerted by the Montana Department of Transportation to make it possible for the marathon to use the bridge, despite the active construction and current load restrictions. MDT knows how important this event is to the community and the project team went above and beyond to coordinate with the marathon planners and bridge engineers to find a compromise that would allow the event to return in a meaningful way.

Some of the bridge is better than none, right?

I guess the good news is that the race can still use a portion of the bridge. I think it should have enough of that familiar finish line feel that it won't seem like that big of a change. Race director Trisha Drobeck echoes that sentiment in the Montana Right Now article.

You can see [the bridge], it’ll be there, but it won’t be completed, but I think it’ll be very close. It’s so much better than finishing anywhere else, so I’m glad it came together and they were willing to work with us.

The bridge is on the clock!

We know Beartracks Bridge won't be ready for this year's marathon. Hopefully, the unexpected issues that have come with the project and the remaining work will be done in time to stretch next year's finish line across all lanes of the bridge! Everything to know about the Missoula Kids Marathon, Missoula Marathon Beer Run, Tony Banovich Missoula 5K, Missoula Half Marathon, and Missoula Marathon can be found HERE.

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