Madison Street Bridge
On October 15, Montana Department of Transportation is slated to start a deck seal coating process to protect and extend the life of the new Madison Street Bridge deck.
Why does the Madison Street Bridge require a bridge deck seal coat?
To extend the life of the recently rehabilitated Madison Street Bridge deck, Montana Department of Transportation plans to complete a seal coat on the bridge deck prior to the onset of winter. The process, called a polymer overlay, provides benefits similar to that of chip sealing an asphalt roadway. The new seal coat will help seal the bridge deck and sidewalk concrete from moisture, as well as providing increased traction on the bridge deck surface. The successful application and curing of polymer overlay is highly dependent on weather and temperatures. Therefore, although work will begin October 15 with the placement of traffic control, crews may be working intermittent days throughout the process as weather allows. After the process is finished, crews will restripe the bridge deck.
Why wasn’t this new seal coat done during the rehabilitation process?
While important to preserving the new bridge deck, the new seal coat is not part of the Madison Street Bridge Rehabilitation completed in 2016 and 2017. Instead, the deck seal coat to be conducted on the Madison Street Bridge is part of a larger improvement program managed by the Montana Department of Transportation’s Missoula District. As part of the program, deck seal coats have already been done on more than thirty existing bridges throughout the district, with more to follow. The timely completion of the Madison Street Bridge’s recent rehabilitation provides the Montana Department of Transportation with a short window to finish the seal coating process, weathering permitting. Accomplishing the seal coat prior to winter will provide the greatest potential protection for the bridge deck.
When will crews be working and when will the work be finished?
Crews are slated to begin work on Sunday, October 15, weather permitting, with a goal of completing improvements within one to two weeks. During this time, crews will be working from approximately 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. each day. For the seal coat to properly cure, the bridge deck must be at least fifty degrees, and precipitation (snow/rain/ice) must be minimum, which poses potential challenges with the onset of colder weather. If possible, crews will complete the seal coat prior to winter shutdown. However, if cold weather sets in prior to, or during the seal coating or striping process, MDT may choose to complete the project in 2018 to ensure that the seal coat performs properly.
What should I expect when traveling through the project?
While work is in progress, those traveling on or near the Madison Street Bridge should anticipate traffic congestion and delays similar to those experienced during the bridge’s rehabilitation. The Montana Department of Transportation recommends using alternate routes whenever possible. At this time, no traffic stops are anticipated while crews complete the seal coat but the bridge will be reduced from four lanes to two lanes. Traffic control will follow a configuration similar to that used during the Madison Street Bridge Rehabilitation. During the second phase of the polymer overlay, one of the two sidewalks will remain open, but pedestrians and cyclists are encouraged to use the Madison Street underbridge.
Will work impact those traveling to home football games at the University of Montana?
In the unlikely case that work on the seal coat work extends into November, Montana Department of Transportation will ensure that traffic control is removed on November 4, the date of the next Grizzly football home game.
Need more information? Contact Us!
For more information, please contact Montana Department of Transportation’s Project Manager, John Benda. John can be reached by phone at 406-396-4766 or by .