Possible railroad bridge collapse closes HWY 89 near Livingston, Beartooth Highway repairs start Monday

Paul Hamby Brett French

The threat of an abandoned railroad bridge over the Yellowstone River collapsing has shuttered a portion of Highway 89 northeast of Livingston.

Meanwhile, crews will be dispatched to the Beartooth Highway on Monday to begin rebuilding six sections that were washed out.

Floodwaters gushing down the Yellowstone River since Sunday have eroded the soil around the Highway 89 North Railroad Bridge, which runs parallel to the highway as it passes over the river. That erosion has prompted officials to shut down the highway until the integrity of the railroad bridge can be assessed.

“It’s still a lingering question of whether it will collapse,” said Kate Wilson, public information officer with the County Assist Team assigned to Park County. “It’s been quite some time since the bridge has been in use … It’s more of an iconic piece in town.”

Wilson said the highway bridge will like stay closed through the weekend, as crews will need to wait for the river level to drop in order to fully assess the integrity of the bridge. Should the railroad bridge collapse, she said, it could damage some of the surrounding infrastructure. However, it’s impossible to know exactly what

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