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By Jack H. Smith
Three Forks Voice 

Old Town Bridge Closed

 

Photo by Jim Allen from www.bridgehunter.com

The Gallatin County Road and Bridge Department announced Monday the closure of the Old Town Bridge.

According to MDT Bridge Bureau Chief Stephanie Brandenberger, the bridge crossing the Jefferson River on Old Town Road was closed after undergoing its annual safety and condition inspection on June 5 and 6.

"This is a 110 ft long steel truss bridge that is over 100 years old. The inspectors found significant distortion and cracking in a critical element of the truss called the end post, and observed that the bridge 'sways' under relatively light loads," said Brandenberger. "To ensure public safety, the inspectors recommended immediate closure of the bridge. MDT contacted the bridge owner, Gallatin County, to inform them of the critical finding and Gallatin County forces immediately closed the bridge to vehicles and pedestrians."

Burgess & Niple Inc. of Portland has been in the County since June 1, performing National Bridge Inspection Standards bridge inspections, including on Old Town Road.

Gallatin County Communications Coordinator Whitney Bermes said there is no time frame for the reopening.

"At this point, Gallatin County will determine next steps for the bridge since it is under their jurisdiction and maintenance, which will likely include further analysis of the damage and evaluation of possible repairs. MDT will continue to support Gallatin County through our statewide Bridge Inspection program," Brandenberger said.

 Other bridges being inspected include Hamilton Road and Dry Creek School Road over the East Gallatin, Axtell Anceny Road and W. Williams Road over the Gallatin River, and William Bridge over the Jefferson.

For additional information, please call 406-582-3250.

 

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