Old Missoula

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A New Higgins Bridge

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The New Bridge – 1892

It is Finished at Last and Thrown Open to the Public

The new bridge finished last Monday and cleaned up yesterday was thrown open to the public yesterday afternoon, shortly after the arrival of Mayor Higgins from Helena. The city council has not yet met and formally accepted the structure but city Engineer Reardon inspected and tested it yesterday, pronounced it all right and received it. The fire engine was driven over the structure at a gallop and caused hardly any vibration even when in the centre of the spans. Several hacks loaded with people were also driven across.

The new bridge is a beauty and presents an imposing appearance when viewed from any point on Higgins avenue south of Main street. It is higher than the old bridge by several feet, and being nearly up to the grade of Higgins avenue north of Front street, presents the handsome appearance of a straight and continuous street across the river into South Missoula. The total length of the bridge, including the three spans of 130 feet each and the trestling over the island and in the approaches, is 1142 feet. The roadway, or wagon way, is twenty-two feet wide in the clear, and the sidewalks six feet on the spans and seven feet six inches on the trestling. This gives a total width of thirty-seven feet over all. The bridge was built by the Smith Bridge company, which has, since the letting of the contract, been merged into the Toledo Bridge company, at a cost of $31,500. The western agents of the company who had charge of the work are the Andrus Bros. of Spokane, and the local agent under whose immediate supervision the structure was erected, is O. E. Peppard.

Article from the Morning Missoulian, Sept 7, 1892.