Two Medicine River Bridge
- Mar 5, 2012
The new Two Medicine River Bridge is being constructed approximately one mile east of East Glacier on Blackfeet Indian Reservation, and approximately 12 miles west of Browning, Montana. The existing two-lane bridge was built in 1941 and is considered too narrow for current traffic volume and functionally obsolete.
Spanning the deep, steeply sloped gorge, the deck of the new bridge will be nearly 200 feet above the channel below. The new bridge primarily consists of a segmental cast-in-place box girder with three 120-foot spans of precast MTS-72 girders for the east approach. The 761-foot long bridge crosses 150 feet above the Two Medicine River with 12-foot driving lanes. The new bridge will accommodate a 12-foot lane and an 8-foot shoulder in each direction with a 6-foot sidewalk on the north side. It will also have a shared-use path and a truck-climbing lane on the east side.
Construction began in October 2011 and good progress was made installing the 6-foot and 8-foot diameter drilled shafts over 80 feet deep and socketed into rock. The steep slopes have made access to the work sites challenging with limited room for staffing near the piers.
Once the foundations were completed, the substructure units began to take shape, giving recent rise to the construction of the first pier table at Pier 2. Cantilever construction is expected to begin soon and the completed structure is expected to be opened to traffic by late fall of 2012.