Bridge repair project starts this summer near Marketplace

Summer road construction season is approaching and beginning early June, crews will be working on improvements to the bridge deck of Exit 0 on Country Club Boulevard, specifically the bridge over the railroad tracks.

Travelers heading east and west over this stretch of Country Club Boulevard, between the Fox Farm signal and Interstate 15, will merge into single-lane traffic in each direction. These single-lane closures will allow crews to perform the necessary bridge deck improvements safely while traffic continues to flow. No complete road closures or detours are planned. Access to Marketplace and surrounding destinations will not be impacted, according to the Montana Department of Transportation.

I315 Map Illustration-page-001

The construction zone is highlighted in orange. Map courtesy of the Montana Department of Transportation/Big Sky Public Relations.

Drivers are advised to use alternate routes when possible. Please allow extra travel time as congestion during morning and evening commutes is expected. Travelers are also reminded to follow all signage and direction from flaggers, especially at the onset of construction when traffic flow is unfamiliar.

MDT’s Great Falls District Construction Engineer Rich Hibl said that crews will hydromill the existing surfaces and put down new concrete to improve the bridge deck.

The project does not include structural work and will extend the life of the roadway by about 20 years, Hibl said.

Crews will do one lane in each direction and once that’s complete they’ll switch to the other lane so that the roadway can remain open to traffic throughout the summer.

Hibl said the project will take about 12 weeks and will not impact rail traffic.

If the current chips and cracks on the bridge surface are left unaddressed, these minor damages could rapidly expand to the structure, which would compromise the integrity of the bridge, according to MDT. At that point, a bridge repair project could take at least two years, according to MDT.

MDT has a team of bridge inspectors that check bridges on a regular cycle, checking all aspects of the bridge, such as the condition of the deck and substructure, Hibl said. If they notice potential problems, they bring it to the attention of the pre-construction teams to further review. MDT’s road maintenance teams also watch for potential issues on bridges.

“If we notice something that needs to be worked on, we get it into our plans and prioritize projects within available funding,” Hibl said.

The total cost of this bridge deck improvement is about $390,000 with a 90/10 split of federal and state funds respectively, according to MDT.

MDT will provide project status updates. Sign up for updates by calling the MDT hotline at 406-207-4484 or madeline@bigskypublicrelations.com.