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Construction begins on bridges near Big Sky area

Posted at 11:01 AM, May 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-22 16:14:47-04

BIG SKY — Starting next Tuesday, the Montana Department of Transportation will begin work on three bridges near Big Sky, one Highway 191 and two on Highway 64.

“It’s a big safety hazard for traffic because as the deck deteriorates, and concrete pops out and creates a pothole, then the rebar gets exposed and loses its capability of what it's supposed to do in the deck,” said Craig Walker, Engineering Project Manager with Montana Department of Transportation.

A bridge deck is the multi-layer surface you drive over when crossing a bridge.

“So what you see right now are potholes that are in the deck that have been patched. And the concrete delaminates around the patch and just keeps progress through the deck,” said Walker.

Little Coyote Road Bridge needs the deck to be totally replaced, so that project will last from May until early November.

The Lone Mountain Trail Bridge will be under repairs between May and July and US 191 Bridge between July and September.

“The contractor is an experienced contractor with this type of work. They’ve done it a lot, they continue to do it so as far as the work goes there shouldn’t be challenges that way.”

When traveling to or from Big Sky, you can expect up to 15 minute delays for each bridge.

“We’re going to do our best to get everyone through. We have learned our lesson in working in that area before. So we’re all vigilant of the amount of traffic we’ll be dealing with,” said Walker.

Traffic signals will be operating 24/7 to help guide travelers through a single lane.

“Just be patient, stay in the traffic line. You’ll get through the project. And it’s for everyone’s safety, the traveling public, the workers, everybody.”