Montana Department of Transportation

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Active Project - Varney Bridge Replacement

Varney Bridge Replacement

Varney Bridge Replacement logo

Project Overview

The Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) is replacing the Varney Bridge. The bridge crosses the Madison River on Varney Road (S-249) approximately eight miles south of Ennis in Madison County.

Varney Bridge Replacement map

The project will improve safety and help reduce water and ice running over the road. The existing Varney Bridge is a 12-foot wide single-lane structure originally built in 1897. The bridge has a pier in the middle of the stream that is an obstacle to water and ice moving under the bridge. During the winter months, water and ice back up on the pier and run over the road.

Improvements include:

  • Constructing a single-span bridge removing all piers in the river.
  • Widening the bridge to include two 12-foot travel lanes, 2-foot shoulders and guardrails.
  • Adjusting the alignment of the road with the bridge to improve sight distances.
Varney Bridge Replacement bridge


Construction on the bridge will begin March 29 and be completed in December. Work is dependent on water levels and weather conditions.

During Construction

  • The bridge will be closed to traffic from late March to the end of 2019.
  • Motorists will be detoured around the bridge through Ennis using Highway 287 (east of the bridge) and Varney Road (west of the bridge).
  • The Fishing Access Site on the east side will remain open throughout construction.
  • Temporary river closures will be required when construction activities pose a risk to river users. For more information about river closures, check the construction Project Updates page.
  • Boats will be directed through the construction area.