Flathead River-3M NW Big Fork
The Flathead River Bridge project is located on Hwy 82 between Reference Posts 5.0 and 6.4. The bridge, known as Sportsman’s Bridge, provides access across the Flathead River between Bigfork and Somers in Flathead County. Sportsman’s Bridge and the approaching roadway were built in 1955. This section of road is being evaluated for reconstruction due to the narrow bridge deck and increasing traffic volumes.
The existing bridge is 686 feet long with 4 main spans, 2 approach spans and 3 piers. This will be replaced with a 706-foot long bridge with 4 spans and 3 piers. The proposed bridge will be built adjacent to the south side of the existing bridge and will contain a 10-foot walking path with two 12-foot travel lanes and two 8-foot shoulders.
Shifting the bridge south will impact the Sportsman’s Bridge Fishing Access Site (FAS) located on the east bank of the Flathead River. A new FAS site will be built at the same site and will consist of 29 truck/trailer and 8 standard vehicle parking stalls. One handicap stall will be located next to the relocated pit toilet.
Access to the FAS will be off Hanging Rock Drive after the project is complete. Turn lanes will be added at the intersection of Hanging Rock Drive and Hwy 82 to improve safety for left- and right-hand turns off the highway at the intersection.
This project is intended to provide a safer corridor for the increasing traffic in this area.