Montana Department of Transportation

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Active Project - Varney Bridge Replacement

Varney Bridge Replacement Project Updates

Project Updates

Varney Bridge Replacement logo

Project Updates

April 3, 2020

  • Varney Bridge NOW OPEN to traffic
  • Over recent weeks, crews have been able to complete the bridge and road work necessary to open the bridge to traffic.
  • Construction will continue over the next few weeks to finishing up some remaining tasks. The bridge and river are expected to remain open for the remainder of construction.
  • MDT thanks the community for your patience throughout construction of the project.

Previous Updates

March 27, 2020

  • Varney Bridge construction nearly complete
  • Good weather and a limited amount of frost in the ground has allowed crews to work on rebuilding the roadway.
  • MDT expects to open the bridge to traffic in a couple of weeks (weather permitting).
  • Remaining work includes:
    • Completing roadway work.
    • Placing guardrails.
    • Adding top soil and reseeding.
  • The Fishing Access Site on the east side of the river will remain open. Buoys in the river will direct boats through the construction area if needed.
  • Thank you again for your continued patience.
  • Please visit the construction camera for up-to-date views of the Varney Bridge.

March 5, 2020

  • Crews have begun pouring the concrete bridge deck this week. Concrete work will continue into next week weather permitting.
  • Once the bridge deck concrete has cured, the remaining work includes:
    • Placing handrails
    • Making transverse cuts along the deck
    • Installing guardrails
    • Rebuilding the roadway approaches (weather dependent)
    • Reseeding the construction area
  • Full river closures should not be needed for the remainder of the project as crews work on the bridge deck.
  • During construction:
    • The Fishing Access Site on the east side of the river will remain open.
    • Buoys in the river will direct boats through the construction area if needed.
  • Please visit the construction camera for up-to-date views of the Varney Bridge.

January 27, 2020

  • Canceled: Madison River closures planned for today (1/27) and tomorrow (1/28) no longer needed.
  • The steel bridge structure is secured in its final position. River closures planned for Monday, Jan. 27 and Tuesday, Jan. 28 are canceled.
  • Full river closures should not be needed for the remainder of the project as crews work on the bridge deck.
  • Thank you again for your continued patience. Based on the current schedule, MDT anticipates completing construction in March/April.
  • During construction:
    • The Fishing Access Site on the east side of the river will remain open for boats to exit the river during river closures.
    • Boats are restricted to a 6-foot maximum height clearance at the Varney Bridge.
    • Buoys in the river will direct boats through the construction zone when open.
    • Notification signage will be placed upstream and downstream of the bridge.
  • Please visit the construction camera for up-to-date views of the Varney Bridge.

January 24, 2020

  • Crews will set the bridge into its final resting position next week. The river will be temporarily closed to boat traffic between 8 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. on:
    • Monday, Jan. 27
    • Tuesday, Jan. 28
  • After the bridge is set in place, closures will be less frequent. Based on the current schedule, MDT anticipates completing construction in March/April.
  • During construction:
    • The Fishing Access Site on the east side of the river will remain open for boats to exit the river during river closures.
    • Boats are restricted to a 6-foot maximum height clearance at the Varney Bridge.
    • Buoys in the river will direct boats through the construction zone when open.
    • Notification signage will be placed upstream and downstream of the bridge.
  • Please visit the construction camera for up-to-date views of the Varney Bridge.

January 20, 2020

  • The steel bridge structure is nearly complete. In order to complete the final assembly of the steel structure and secure it to the abutments, the river will be temporarily closed to boat traffic between 8 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. on:
    • Tuesday, Jan. 21
    • Wednesday, Jan. 22
    • Thursday, Jan. 23
    • Friday, Jan. 24
    • Saturday, Jan. 25
  • Once the steel structure is in its final resting place, crews can begin building the bridge deck. MDT appreciates your continued patience as the bridge structure is moved into its final position this week.
  • Based on the current schedule, MDT anticipates completing construction in March/April.
  • During construction:
    • The Fishing Access Site on the east side of the river will remain open for boats to exit the river during river closures.
    • Boats are restricted to a 6-foot maximum height clearance at the Varney Bridge.
    • Buoys in the river will direct boats through the construction zone when open.
    • Notification signage will be placed upstream and downstream of the bridge.
  • Please visit the construction camera for up-to-date views of the Varney Bridge.

January 15, 2020

  • Temporary closures planned for the Madison River near the Varney Bridge this week, Jan. 17-18. Crews will be operating cranes over the river as they continue to assemble sections of the bridge.
  • The river will be temporarily closed to boat traffic between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. on the following days:
    • Friday, Jan. 17
    • Saturday, Jan. 18
  • During construction:
    • The Fishing Access Site on the east side of the river will remain open for boats to exit the river during river closures.
    • Boats are restricted to a 6-foot maximum height clearance at the Varney Bridge.
    • Buoys in the river will direct boats through the construction zone when open.
    • Notification signage will be placed upstream and downstream of the bridge.
  • Please visit the construction camera for up-to-date views of the Varney Bridge.

January 3, 2020

  • Temporary closures planned for the Madison River near the Varney Bridge next week, Jan. 6-7. Crews will be operating the crane over the river as they assemble a section of the bridge.
  • The river will be temporarily closed to boat traffic between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. on the following days:
    • Monday, Jan. 6
    • Tuesday, Jan. 7
  • During construction:
    • The Fishing Access Site on the east side of the river will remain open for boats to exit the river during river closures.
    • Boats are restricted to a 6-foot maximum height clearance at the Varney Bridge.
    • Buoys in the river will direct boats through the construction zone when open.
    • Notification signage will be placed upstream and downstream of the bridge.
  • Please visit the construction camera for up-to-date views of the Varney Bridge.

December 21, 2019

  • MDT and Battle Ridge Builders have made significant progress on the bridge in recent weeks. Battle Ridge Builders will continue to work on the bridge through the winter.
  • Based on the current schedule, MDT anticipates completing construction in March/April 2020.
  • MDT would like to thank you for your continued patience during construction. For updates on the progress of the bridge construction visit the construction camera.

December 20, 2019

  • Temporary closures planned for the Madison River near the Varney Bridge on Monday, Dec 23. Crews will slide another section of the new bridge structure over the river on the slide rail system.
  • The river will be temporarily closed to boat traffic between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. on the following days:
    • Saturday, Dec. 21
    • Monday, Dec. 23
  • During construction:
    • The Fishing Access Site on the east side of the river will remain open for boats to exit the river during river closures.
    • Boats are restricted to a 6-foot maximum height clearance at the Varney Bridge.
    • Buoys in the river will direct boats through the construction zone when open.
    • Notification signage will be placed upstream and downstream of the bridge.
  • Please visit the construction camera for up-to-date views of the Varney Bridge.

December 17, 2019

  • Temporary closures planned for the Madison River near the Varney Bridge this week (12/18, 12/19 & 12/21). Crews will be working in the river to install slide rails and pounding piles.
  • The river will be temporarily closed to boat traffic between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. on the following days:
    • Wednesday, Dec. 18
    • Thursday, Dec. 19
    • Saturday, Dec. 21
  • During construction:
    • The Fishing Access Site on the east side of the river will remain open for boats to exit the river during river closures.
    • Boats are restricted to a 6-foot maximum height clearance at the Varney Bridge.
    • Buoys in the river will direct boats through the construction zone when open.
    • Notification signage will be placed upstream and downstream of the bridge.
  • Please visit the construction camera for up-to-date views of the Varney Bridge.

December 11, 2019

  • Temporary closures planned for the Madison River near the Varney Bridge this week (12/12 - 12/13). Cranes will be lifting steel over the river to install slide rails.
  • The river will be temporarily closed to boat traffic between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. on the following days:
    • Thursday, Dec. 12
    • Friday, Dec. 13
  • During construction:
    • The Fishing Access Site on the east side of the river will remain open for boats to exit the river during river closures.
    • Boats are restricted to a 6-foot maximum height clearance at the Varney Bridge.
    • Buoys in the river will direct boats through the construction zone when open.
    • Notification signage will be placed upstream and downstream of the bridge.
  • Please visit the construction camera for up-to-date views of the Varney Bridge.

December 6, 2019

  • Temporary closures planned for the Madison River near the Varney Bridge next week (12/9 - 12/10). Crews will be pounding piles in the river.
  • The river will be temporarily closed to boat traffic between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. on the following days:
    • Monday, Dec. 9
    • Tuesday, Dec. 10
  • During construction:
    • The Fishing Access Site on the east side of the river will remain open for boats to exit the river during river closures.
    • Boats are restricted to a 6-foot maximum height clearance at the Varney Bridge.
    • Buoys in the river will direct boats through the construction zone when open.
    • Notification signage will be placed upstream and downstream of the bridge.
  • Please visit the construction camera for up-to-date views of the Varney Bridge.

December 2, 2019

  • Temporary closures planned for the Madison River near the Varney Bridge this week (12/3 - 12/5). Crews will be pounding piles in the river.
  • The river will be temporarily closed to boat traffic between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on the following days:
    • Tuesday, Dec. 3
    • Wednesday, Dec. 4
    • Thursday, Dec. 5
  • During construction:
    • The Fishing Access Site on the east side of the river will remain open for boats to exit the river during river closures.
    • Boats are restricted to a 6-foot maximum height clearance at the Varney Bridge.
    • Buoys in the river will direct boats through the construction zone when open.
    • Notification signage will be placed upstream and downstream of the bridge.
  • Please visit the construction camera for up-to-date views of the Varney Bridge.

November 12, 2019

  • The bridge plans have been approved. Crews will begin installing the "slide rail system" this week.
  • The slide rail system will allow the bridge to be built in 50 ft. pieces and then slid into place across the river.
    • Buoys in the river will direct boats through the construction zone.
    • Boats are restricted to a 6-foot maximum height clearance at the Varney Bridge.
    • The Fishing Access Site on the east side of the river will remain open for boats.
  • Please visit the construction camera for up-to-date views of the Varney Bridge.

October 29, 2019

  • Bridge construction is temporarily delayed pending bridge erection plan approval.
  • Crews will continue work once the plans are approved and the bridge work is tentatively scheduled for a December completion.
    • Buoys in the river will direct boats through the construction zone.
    • Boats are restricted to a 6-foot maximum height clearance at the Varney Bridge.
    • The Fishing Access Site on the east side of the river will remain open for boats.

September 5, 2019

  • A small area of the Madison River near the Varney Bridge will be restricted to floating beginning Friday, September 6. Boats can float through the construction zone on the east side of the river.
  • Crews will install a temporary work bridge to remove the existing old Varney Bridge center pier. The work is expected to take several weeks to complete.
    • Buoys in the river will direct boats through the construction zone.
    • Boats are restricted to a 6-foot maximum height clearance at the Varney Bridge.
    • The Fishing Access Site on the east side of the river will remain open for boats.
    • Notification signage will be placed upstream and downstream of the bridge.

June 7, 2019

  • The Madison River near the Varney Bridge will be temporarily closed to boat traffic on Monday, June 10 as crews remove the east side of the structure. Completion of work is dependent on good weather.
    • Boats are restricted to a 6-foot maximum height clearance at the Varney Bridge.
    • Buoys in the river will direct boats through the construction zone.
    • The Fishing Access Site on the east side of the river will remain open for boats.
    • Notification signage will be placed upstream and downstream of the bridge.

May 29, 2019

  • Madison River near Varney Bridge is now open to boat traffic with navigation restrictions. Crews have completed removing the west side of the Varney Bridge structure. Boats are now able to float through the construction zone on the east side of the river.
    • Boats are restricted to a 6-foot maximum height clearance at the Varney Bridge.
    • Buoys in the river will direct boats through the construction zone.
    • The Fishing Access Site on the east side of the river will remain open for boats.
    • Notification signage will be placed upstream and downstream of the bridge.

May 27, 2019

  • The Madison River near the Varney Bridge will be temporarily closed to boat traffic on May 28 as crews remove the west side of the structure.
  • Completion of work is dependent on good weather.
  • During bridge removal:
    • Boats are restricted to a 6-foot maximum height clearance at the Varney Bridge.
    • Buoys in the river will direct boats through the construction zone.
    • The Fishing Access Site on the east side of the river will remain open for boats to exit the river.
    • Notification signage will be placed upstream and downstream of the bridge.

May 23, 2019

  • The Madison River near the Varney Bridge has been reopened to boats for the Memorial Day weekend. Work to remove the west side of the bridge today was postponed due to windy weather conditions.
  • Next week, crews will temporarily close the river to finish removing the west side of the structure. Completion of work is dependent on good weather.

May 17, 2019

  • Construction crews will begin removing the Varney Bridge on Monday, May 20. Work to remove the existing bridge is expected to take several weeks. A temporary river closure is anticipated to take place on Thursday, May 23 as crews remove the west side of the bridge.
  • During bridge removal:
    • Boats are restricted to a 6-foot maximum height clearance at the Varney Bridge.
    • Buoys in the river will direct boats through the construction zone.
    • The river will be temporarily closed through the construction zone on Thursday, May 23 when the steel structure is removed.
    • Notification signage will be placed upstream and downstream of the bridge.