Montana Has A Lot Of Bridges That Need A Lot Of Work

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Remember last June when we reported on the bridge outside of Columbus that collapsed with a train on it?  The train, carrying hot asphalt and molten sulfur collapsed into the river with the bridge.  In addition to the chemical spill, a fiber-optic cable was taken out that provided internet all over Montana.

READ THE STORY OF THE BRIDGE COLLAPSE HERE

Montana Is On Track For A Record Number Of Closures In 2024

From NBC Montana:

There were eight to 10 bridges closed each year from 2019 to 2022. Officials saw closures jump to 20 in 2023. This January’s two closures have 2024 on pace to surpass last year’s numbers.

Youtube//NBC Montana//Montana sees spike in bridge closures due to 'severely aging infrastructure'//Canva
Youtube//NBC Montana//Montana sees spike in bridge closures due to 'severely aging infrastructure'//Canva
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Just Last Week, Two More Bridges Were Closed

NBC Montana reports that Maclay Bridge in Missoula was closed and Bridge Street Bridge in Bigfork were closed.

Maclay Bridge, Missoula, Montana

This bridge connects North Avenue Road and River Pines Road across the Bitterroot River.

According to NBC Montana, the bridge was closed Friday February 2, 2024 because MDOT found the bridge can not safely support traffic, stemming from old steel.

The bridge is estimated to be over 100 years old, and was acquired second hand in the 1930's.  The steel has been exposed to the elements for a long time.

Youtube//NBC Montana//Montana sees spike in bridge closures due to 'severely aging infrastructure'//Canva
Youtube//NBC Montana//Montana sees spike in bridge closures due to 'severely aging infrastructure'//Canva
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Bridge Street Bridge, Bigfork, Montana

This bridge connects Highway 35 and downtown Bigfork.  This bridge has been closed for "the foreseeable future" after a MDOT inspection found severe corrosion.

Bob Vosen, MDT's Missoula District Administrator told NBC Montana

I did see one image, one of many. and there’s just a tremendous amount of corrosion. And there's really no way to quickly and easily repair the level of corrosion that’s out there right now.

Bridge Closures, Bigfork Montana

Bigfork Bridge Street Bridge, Bigfork Montana

Gallery Credit: Tammie Toren

Kootenai Falls Swinging Bridge , Montana

Kootenai Falls Swinging Bridge , Montana

Gallery Credit: Tammie Toren

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Gallery Credit: Arlen Jameson

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