The new U.S. Highway 2 bridge over the South Fork of the Flathead River in Hungry Horse only opened to traffic a few weeks ago, but state officials say repairs are already needed.
The bridge will undergo minor repairs in the spring because contractors left footprints in the concrete deck. Montana Department of Transportation officials say those footprints could hold moisture that would reduce the life expectancy of the bridge surface. According to officials, the footprints were made by crews laying blankets on the deck during construction to prevent it from freezing before the material was able to completely harden.
Sletten Construction, the contractor who helped build the new bridge, will pay for the repairs.
“We’re working together to come up with the best possible solution to ensure that the bridge deck is fully repaired,” said Bob Vosen, Missoula District construction engineer. “Sletten has been a great partner over the course of this project.”
Officials say the new bridge is still safe to drive over and in the meantime traffic will be unaffected by the footprints.
The new bridge was dedicated on Dec. 18 and replaces the old U.S. Highway 2 bridge that spanned the South Fork for 80 years.