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Planning, good weather helped officials repair damaged bridge at Twin Bridges

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Posted at 5:35 PM, Apr 15, 2024

TWIN BRIDGES — When a bridge at high risk of collapsing was suddenly shut down at Twin Bridges, the Montana Department of Transportation did not waste any time in getting this important bridge repaired and operating again.

“We know we have a great team, and they go to action when they need to and this was one of those instances that they got together and did a great job,” said Butte Administrator for the Montana Department of Transportation Geno Liva.

The state shut the bridge down on April 8 after an inspector noticed severe deterioration to the center concrete pier putting the bridge a risk of collapse. The bridge was instantly shut down.

“It was a definite safety risk to the traveling public. It needed to be closed; it was at high risk to fail,” said Liva.

Within three days, engineers were repairing the bridge. The bridge crosses the Beaverhead River, so it required a barge for crews to stand on while they repaired the concrete pier.

“It was a very difficult thing to do, there a lot of things in action, the river underneath, not having that solid platform to be off the ground to do the repairs. Search and Rescue, they were down river in case something happened,” he said.

The bridge was reopened to all traffic by April 13. Officials in Madison County were pleasantly surprised and already had alternate routes in place in case the bridge remained closed longer.

“It’s crazy, I was preparing for a very long year or more. Bridges don’t just get replaced overnight, so we are very appreciative,” said Madison County Emergency Management official Jennifer Martens.

The bridge is 75 years old and despite the recent repairs is slated to be replaced in the near future.