Swinging Bridge to be Replaced Next Year in 2019

Contact(s): Willie Sykes

TROY, Mont. July 3, 2018The Kootenai National Forest will be replacing the Swinging Bridge next year. Work may occur over a two year period and is scheduled to begin in the spring/summer of 2019.

The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) constructed the first bridge at this location in the 1930s primarily for fire suppression activities. After the original bridge failed during a flood event in 1948, a new bridge was constructed in 1951 and was rehabilitated in 1968, 1993, and in the fall of 2016.

Now, this site is a very popular attraction and usage of the bridge has substantially increased over the years, peaking at over 600 people per day who visit the site.

“This new structure will provide the public a bridge that responds to the increased use, current safety considerations, reduction in short and long-term maintenance, and will maintain the character of the area for visitors, said Three Rivers District Ranger Kirsten Kaiser. “It is expected to provide the public with a quality outdoor recreation experience for the foreseeable future.”

The Kootenai Tribe of Idaho and the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes were consulted at various stages of project development, as the area is significant to their traditional cultural use of the area and Kootenai Falls.

The project has been awarded to Wesslen Construction, Inc., of Spokane Washington. The total cost of the project is estimated to be $600,000 and will utilize funding from the Federal Lands Transportation Program (FLTP).

The contractor will be allowed to close the existing swinging bridge and/or work area/site during construction of the new bridge and/or removal of the old bridge, with conditions.

All closures will be coordinated between the Forest Service and Lincoln County and the public will be notified in advance.

The project is located near the Kootenai River off U.S. Highway 2 between the communities of Troy and Libby, Montana. All activities will occur on Forest Service and Lincoln County lands.

Public safety, aesthetics, and Tribal considerations were integral in the development of the project design and implementation plans.

For more information on this project, please contact District Ranger Kirsten Kaiser or District Recreation Manager Dave Thorstenson, at the Troy Ranger Station, 12858 US Hwy 2, Troy, MT 59935 or at 406-295-4693.




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