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Counties seek grant for Old Town Bridge

Gallatin and Broadwater Counties are moving forward with applications to apply for funding to help replace two bridges on Old Town Road.

Both counties have applied for a $750,000 grant from the Montana Coal Endowment Program as part of the collaboration.

At an April meeting, Gallatin County Lead Grants Coordinator Jamie Grabrinski estimated the total for each bridge to be around $2 million. Gallatin applied for funding for the most eastern bridge and Broadwater for the western bridge.

Last week, Broadwater County Commissioner Mike Delger said that Gallatin would be funding around 44 percent of the cost, Broadwater would be doing 14 percent, and the rest would be through the MCEP grants.

During their May 16 meeting, Broadwater County Commissioner Darrel Folkvord said even though the bridges are in Gallatin County, the replacement of the bridges would benefit Broadwater County residents equally.

"It makes sense for us to work together to get this project completed," he said.

Broadwater County Public Works Director Josh Obert discussed the importance of replacing the bridges from an emergency service standpoint. He said last year, emergency responders had to use the bridges for a fire, and their condition very much limits emergency response.

Gallatin County Commissioner Zach Brown said in April, the Legislature would rank the projects applying for MCEP grants, so it would be a year before they would receive word about funding.

Folkvord added that the replacement project could take three years to get underway due to the availability of materials and contractors.

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