Boy Scout Bridge in Seeley Lake has been shut down permanently because of safety and structural concerns, county officials announced Wednesday.
A Montana Department of Transportation inspection found the bridge can’t safely carry traffic any longer, according to a news release from Missoula County. Public Works officials with the county closed the bridge following the inspection. The closure is effective immediately.
“The complete closure comes on the heels of a 3-ton weight limit Public Works placed on the bridge in August following a routine MDT inspection showing deterioration of the timber piling foundation that could affect the bridge’s load capacity,” the release stated.
The bridge spans the Clearwater River near several popular campgrounds. The news release stated the public will have to find an alternate route to access those sites.
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Officials estimate the cost to replace the bridge would land somewhere around $5.7 million, according to the release.
“Staff will use the completed preliminary engineering report to apply for upcoming federal grants and seek other sources of outside funding to help pay to replace the bridge,” the release stated. The bridge was originally built in 1937.
Zoë Buchli is the criminal