What is the Missouri River Fort Benton Bridge project?
The Montana Department of Transportation’s (MDT) Fort Benton Bridge project will evaluate the existing bridge over the Missouri River to determine if it can be repaired or if it should be replaced. The analysis of alternatives, both pros and cons, to either repair or replace the bridge will focus on solutions to increase its service life, best use of public funds, and impacts to the public during construction.
The project will analyze the following alternatives:
- a deck mill and overlay option,
- a full deck replacement along with a detour bridge and/or partial closures, or
- a full bridge replacement with phased construction to maintain traffic across the river during construction.
What is wrong with the current bridge?
The bridge was constructed in 1962 and is still safe to use, but the bridge deck (the part you drive on) is in poor condition and needs repair. The bridge has other deficiencies, such as a narrow roadway and inadequate shoulder width.
Why is the bridge so important?
Fort Benton is the crossroads for business in Chouteau County. Infrastructure that is in good condition is vital to the local and regional economies, including businesses such as wheat growers, grain processors, trucking, and tourism.