The Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) is rehabilitating the Montana Highway 200 Bridge over the Clark Fork River, approximately one mile north of Trout Creek, to extend the service life of the bridge.
Built in 1958, the bridge needs new concrete decking, improvements of miscellaneous structural components, new traffic rails, and spot painting of existing steel girders. The remainder of the bridge remains in good condition and will not be replaced. In addition to bridge rehabilitation, the project will include roadway approach work near the bridge ends to replace the existing guardrail and tie into the new bridge deck.
Collaboration and coordination was critical throughout project development to address the challenges of identifying constructible solutions while minimizing disruption to traffic during construction. Accordingly, MDT has determined that Construction Manager/General Contractor (CM/GC) is the best project delivery method and awarded the construction contract to Kiewit.
Construction activities will begin in the spring of 2020 and are expected to be completed in the fall of 2020. MDT is working with the design and construction team to incorporate accelerated construction methods that minimize impacts to traffic and the local community.
The bridge will be closed to traffic for six consecutive weeks to maintain safety and accommodate deck replacement activities. Single lane closures will occur in advance of the full closure to perform prep work for the deck replacement. Construction crews will be working to complete bridge work as expeditiously as possible, which will include day, night and weekend shifts, to open the bridge safely and prudently.
MDT has been coordinating with local emergency services, including law enforcement, fire, and ambulance, in addition to the US Forest Service, US Postal Service, and County solid waste, for their input and to keep them apprised of the project so that they can address appropriate coverage and services when the bridge is closed to traffic. River access under the bridge and public boat launches will remain open throughout construction.
|Construction begins||April 2020|
|Clark Fork River Bridge closure begins||Late May/Early June (six weeks)|
|Clark Fork River Bridge opens to traffic (one lane)||Mid-July|
|Construction complete||September 2020|
During the six week closure of the Clark Fork River Bridge, Blue Slide Road will serve as a restricted detour for local traffic but is not suitable for large trucks. (In anticipation of increased traffic, MDT has been working collaboratively with Sanders County to improve safety along the Blue Slide Road including added guardrail, signage, delineation and striping.) Advanced notifications including signing will be provided regionally to advise of the bridge closure and allow large trucks and other travelers to determine alternate routes that include I-90 and US 2.
Communication with the local and traveling public is a priority for MDT. We understand this project will impact the community. MDT has been meeting with key community organizations and businesses to inform, educate, and address questions prior to construction.
MDT is committed to engaging the local community and traveling public regularly to provide clear and timely information during this important infrastructure improvement project. Questions and comments can be directed to Brandon Coates via or by phone at 406-465-3350.