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Red Lodge repair project adds to recovery

Red Lodge repairs.jpg
Posted at 11:11 PM, Jan 05, 2023

RED LODGE - Nearly seven months ago, Red Lodge and many other communities across Montana were devastated by the June floods.

The Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) showed its plan for repairs at Red Lodge City Hall on Thursday night.

Highway 212, also known as Broadway Avenue, is an important roadway in Red Lodge.

The project involves repairing two bridges in the south part of town, bridges near Absarokee and Nye, and some work on the Beartooth Highway.

A big part of the project is the retaining wall along Rock Creek.

Rock Creek flooded and damaged Broadway.

"There were people catching fish on Broadway and putting them back in the creek," said Red Lodge Mayor Kristen Cogswell. "There were boulders on Broadway and it wasn't functional and so they put it back together as best as they could."

Cogswell said citizens have been asking about the repairs.

"I'm paying a lot of attention to this project because my goal is that the water can't come over at that point," Cogswell said.

The MDT U.S Highway 212 Repairs Project will involve work on the bridge on Bear Creek Road from 212 and the bridge on Park Avenue near 212 and 19th Street West

"Just from debris and boulders that might have scoured some of the concrete abutments and parts of the bridges, they'll look at that and do any maintenance work that is required," said Scott Henriksen, public information manager for the project.

And crews will shore up the banks along Rock Creek with a modular concrete system.

"Hopefully that will extend the serviceable life of the roadway," Henricksen said.

The bridges and the banks have already been temporarily repaired and the upcoming project will be more permanent.

"There's always maintenance," Henriksen said. "That's a big part of keeping the traveling public traveling."

It's something that adds to the recovery for Red Lodge.

"We'll see how the recovery continues but it'll take a long time," Cogswell said. "I'm very proud of this community and I'll continue to work to do what we can to help them."

The Wadsworth Brothers Construction Company is expected to start in January and finish before the spring runoff.

The estimated cost is $20 million to $25 million, according to Henriksen.