Montana Department of Transportation – Clark Fork River Bridge – 1 Mile Northwest of Trout Creek

Nestled in the shadow of the rugged Cabinet Mountains Wilderness lies the northwestern community of Trout Creek. Officially known as the state’s “huckleberry capital,” Trout Creek is one of the region’s premier outdoor recreation hubs, with Montana Highway 200 serving as the main travel route for residential and commercial traffic. North of town, the highway crosses the Clark Fork River where it feeds into the Noxon Reservoir using a 1,100-foot bridge. Originally constructed in 1958, the bridge structure needed repairs to improve safety and boost capacity to handle current and future travel volumes – repairs that included new concrete decking, railings, and paint. The Montana Department of Transportation embarked upon a $10.6 million project to make the bridge safer. The project was the first in the department’s history to use alternative contracting method Construction Manager/General Contractor (CM/GC), which proved invaluable for successfully constructing robust solutions on complex projects. Crews used a specifically fabricated “deck panel cart” to replace the bridge deck with pre-cast concrete panels, which were lifted off the cart and put into place via crane. This method took half the time required for traditional deck replacement and cost two to three times less compared to new construction.