Bigfork Bridge Street Bridge closure begins January 31
BIGFORK, Mont. (January 31, 2024) – Due to structural concerns, Bridge Street Bridge, which crosses the Swan River and connects downtown Bigfork to Montana Highway 35 (MT 35), will be closed to pedestrian and vehicle traffic starting on Wednesday, January 31, for the foreseeable future. The Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) performs regular inspections of the bridge, and during a recent inspection, it was determined that the bridge can no longer reliably carry traffic.
“Plans continue to move ahead for the replacement of the current bridge; however, due to the structure’s condition, early closure of the bridge due to reliability concerns has always been a possibility,” Bob Vosen, MDT Missoula District Administrator, said. “We understand the closure is inconvenient, but safety is the top priority. We thank the community for their patience and cooperation and encourage residents to reach out with any questions or concerns.”
In coordination with Flathead County, barriers will be placed at each end of the bridge. Advanced warning signage will also be installed to notify drivers of the closure. The closure will only affect the areas immediately next to the bridge and the bridge itself. The entrances of area residences and businesses will not be affected.
Pedestrians and vehicles will be required to use Grand Drive to access downtown Bigfork. Sliter’s Park and other destinations southwest of the bridge can be accessed using Bridge Street from the Montana Highway 209 (MT 209) or MT 35 turn-offs.
MDT is preparing to replace the existing Bridge Street Bridge with a new structure that will allow heavier loads, including emergency vehicles, and honors the past iconic bridge with a matching steel truss shape and single travel lane. The new bridge will also feature an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)-compliant pedestrian walkway.
Construction is anticipated to start in 2026. In response to this closure, MDT is investigating ways to expedite the schedule; however, timelines are subject to change due to factors such as funding availability, availability of contractors, utility and right-of-way coordination, and other unforeseen issues.
If you have questions or concerns, email Sloane Stinson ator call the project hotline at 406-207-4484, operating Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information about the Bridge Street - Bigfork project, visit http://bit.ly/BridgeStreetBigfork.
Image from enjoyyourparks.com