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Sportsman’s Bridge open house events planned

by Daily Inter Lake
| September 13, 2021 11:21 AM

Bigfork residents and nearby travelers can expect a wider, safer Sportsman’s Bridge in the coming years. Plans to replace the current bridge over the Flathead River on Montana 82, also known as Sportsman’s Bridge, continue to progress. Before proceeding with construction, the Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) is hosting two project open houses with the option to attend virtually or in person. “Flathead County has seen significant population growth and traffic increase in recent decades that the current bridge was not built to accommodate,” said Bob Vosen, MDT District 1 administrator. “A new bridge that will better serve the community is required. These open house events will give the public a chance to learn more about the new bridge and the opportunity to ask questions directly of the project team.”

The in-person event will be held at the Bigfork High School Community Room located at 600 Commerce St. on Wednesday, Sept. 15, from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. No formal presentation will be made, and all are welcome to stop by.

The virtual event will be held on Zoom Thursday, Sept. 16, from noon to 1 p.m. Registration is required to gain access information for the meeting. Attendees can expect a slideshow presentation followed by a question and answer session and an opportunity to provide comments. To register to attend, visit https://mt-gov.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_xSrkzGF_So-Le7NTDb_3nA.

With construction planned for 2023, the new bridge will feature two 12-foot travel lanes and two 10-foot shoulders, both wider than the current dimensions. It will be constructed adjacent to the south side of the current bridge in order to maintain traffic on the existing bridge during construction. As a result of the new bridge construction, a new Sportsman’s Bridge Fishing Access Site will be constructed just to the south of its current location on the east side of Flathead River, as well as new left- and right-hand turning lanes on Montana 82 at the intersection with Hanging Rock Drive.

Those who cannot attend the event can still provide comments by contacting Amy Aiello at amy@bigskypublicrelations.com or by calling the project hotline at 406-207-4484 Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information about the project, visit https://www.mdt.mt.gov/pubinvolve/flathead/