South Fork Bridge to Temporarily Close in Early Morning of July 22

Crews to address deteriorating condition of the current structure’s deck surface

By Beacon Staff
The U.S. Highway 2 bridge over the South Fork Flathead River near Hungry Horse on May 5, 2016. Greg Lindstrom | Flathead Beacon

The South Fork bridge along U.S. Highway 2 near Hungry Horse will be temporarily closed to traffic in the early morning of July 22.

Sletten Construction said the closure will occur Saturday, July 22, from 3 a.m. to 4:30 a.m.

Sletten crews are currently constructing a new two-lane bridge over the South Fork of the Flathead River. The anticipated completion date is November 2018, weather permitting. The existing bridge has remained in use during construction of the new structure.

Due to the deteriorating condition of the current structure’s bridge deck surface, the Montana Department of Transportation has determined that maintenance will be required to accommodate the high volume of traffic anticipated in 2017 and 2018.

“Anyone who uses the South Fork bridge by Hungry Horse knows that the bridge deck needs attention,” stated Sletten Project Manager Zachary Zupan. “By taking a short window in the early morning to make improvements, we can ensure the existing bridge meets the community’s needs while we work to build its replacement.”

To ensure the current structure is appropriately maintained through 2018, crews will be complete a fresh overlay of the bridge deck. The overlay will smooth out the bridge’s uneven surface and limit further deterioration while the bridge remains in use.

The bridge’s narrow roadway will require Sletten Construction to fully close access across the bridge while the overlay is completed. Travelers are encouraged to use alternate routes or plan additional travel time during this short period on the morning of July 22.

Sletten Construction thanks the community for its patience and partnership as crews work to build a safer roadway. Once the new structure is finished and cleared for regular use, traffic will be rerouted and the old bridge will be removed.

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