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Repairs to newly finished South Fork Bridge scheduled for spring

New Hungry Horse Bridge
The new bridge features a full lane for pedestrians and bikes and state-of-the-art features slated to last for the next 75 years.  (MTN News photo)

KALISPELL – The newly opened South Fork Bridge in Hungry Horse will undergo repairs to the bridge deck in the spring of 2019 to repair light surface damage that occurred while concrete was setting.

In a press release sent by the Montana Department of Transportation, before the concrete was settled, footprints were made by crews laying blankets to prevent the deck from freezing.

Great Falls contractor Sletten Construction will cover the cost of the repairs meaning that no taxpayer dollars will be involved to correct the damage.

Sletten Construction and the Montana Department of Transportation are in the process of identifying the best method to repair the bridge deck. The onset of winter forced crews to delay repairs until springtime.

“Those footprints will hold moisture and would reduce the life expectancy of the surface of the deck. That’s why we’re going to have to do repairs in the spring,” MDT engineer Bob Vosen said.

“We’re working together to come up with the best possible solution to ensure that the bridge deck is fully repaired.  Sletten has been a great partner over the course of this project,” he added.

Traffic will continue to flow across the South Fork Bridge. Despite the cosmetic damages, the structure itself is completely fit to carry traffic and marks a substantial safety improvement over the old structure, which had been in service for 80 years.

The new South Fork Bridge was opened to the public on Dec. 18 and includes improvements such as a shared use path and wider shoulders.

Melissa Rafferty

Melissa Rafferty

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