Montana Department of Transportation

Public Involvement - Active Projects

Swan River - Bridge (Bigfork)

Swan River - Bridge St. (Bigfork) logo

Project Overview

Flathead County and Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) completed a feasibility study of the truss bridge over the Swan River in Bigfork, Montana. Opened in 1912, the bridge with separate walkway is experiencing corrosion and other deterioration that will limit its future use. The study identified bridge and community needs and considered options to repair, replace or rehabilitate the bridge. Citizens voiced their concerns regarding the historic appearance and the continued use of the one-lane bridge.

The recommendation for replacement of the historic bridge with a new steel truss, bridge carrying a single travel lane and a walkway is forwarded to Flathead County for their action as the owner of the bridge.

The bridge provides one of two river crossings between the Bigfork Dam and Flathead Lake and serves downtown Bigfork. The community has a strong attachment to the historic nature of the bridge which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). The current 3-Ton weight limit is due to its age, corrosion and other issues. Without repairs, the load limit will continue to decrease and the bridge will, ultimately, fail or need to be closed. The bridge, owned and maintained by the County, also requires special maintenance.