Bridge crossing will help increase wildlife safety

Construction part of project to upgrade U.S. 89

A short bridge that’s being constructed as part of a $6.8 million reconstruction of a six-mile stretch of U.S. Highway 89 southeast of Dupuyer will help wildlife safely cross underneath the road at that location, according to the Montana Department of Transportation.

The 36-foot-wide, 30-foot-long bridge is being installed over the South Fork Dry Fork of the Marias River.

“It’s mainly for the drainage,” Doug Wilmot, DOT district construction engineer in Great Falls, said of the bridge. “But we also look at wildlife connectivity when we’re doing these. We do that on every reconstruction project.”

The initial design called for installing two large culverts under the highway, mainly to handle drainage from the creek, at a cost of $175,000, said Lori Ryan, a DOT spokeswoman. A double culvert was previously located at that point in the highway.

After consultations with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other agencies, the design was changed in favor of the bridge. Having a bridge over the creek will allow for both the drainage that occurs underneath the highway and make it easier for wildlife to cross under the road.


Speak Your Mind