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Old Town Bridge Projects Awaiting Section 106 process

While the engineering design for replacing both bridges on Old Town Road near Three Forks is complete and ready to be put out to bid, the project still needs to go through the Section 106 process, which is intended to mitigate the removal of historic property.

According to Stahly Engineering & Associates, both bridges are considered historic by the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP).

The latest update on an online project page created by Stahly Engineering states, “This process (Section 106) is undertaken by the Army Corps of Engineers, Montana State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), and ACHP.  The Section 106 process was initiated in October 2023, and at this time, a mitigation strategy is still being determined by the Army Corps of Engineers.  The mitigation strategy is documented in a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), which is approved and signed by the Army Corps, SHPO, and the Counties.  Once the MOA is complete, the project can be bid, and construction can begin.”

“We are hopeful that those permits will be acquired in the next one to two months; however, due to past experience with this process, the counties are hesitant to bid the project without the permits in hand,” said Stahly Engineering Bride and Transportation Manager Kathy Thompson.

The Old Town Bridge (East) in Gallatin County was closed on June 6, 2022, after a regularly scheduled MDT inspection ruled it unsafe for vehicles or pedestrians. According to Gallatin County, the closure has resulted in a 10-mile detour, which has forced emergency services to reroute, causing considerable service delays.

The Old Town Bride (West) in Broadwater County currently has a seven-ton load limit.

Thompson said beams for both bridges have been ordered and are slated for delivery in September (east) and December (west). She added once construction starts, they anticipate six to eight months for completion.

 According to the Stahly Project page, the Old Town Bridge (East) construction is scheduled to begin in July and run until December.

Construction on the Old Town Bridge (East) is scheduled to start in October and continue until February 2025.

The Stahly Engineering project website is available online at

In May 2023, Gallatin and Broadwater Counties received $750,000 in Montana Coal Endowment Program (MCEP) Grants to replace the two bridges.

In late 2023, Gallatin and Broadwater Counties finalized contracts of $1 million for each bridge from the Montana Department of Transportation, which is for matching funds for the MCEP Grants.

“This funding is a key component to ensuring that we replace these critical pieces of infrastructure for our residents on the west end of Gallatin County. We appreciate the teamwork with Broadwater County to push this project forward,” said Gallatin County Commissioner Scott MacFarlane.

“Broadwater County is grateful for the opportunity to partner with Gallatin County in the replacement of the Old Town Bridges that will greatly benefit all residents. We are also grateful for the MCEP program and the Montana Department of Transportation that have helped to provide funding to make this project possible,” said Broadwater County Commissioner Darrel Folkvord.