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New South Fork bridge to be unveiled

December 17, 2018

Motorists and bicyclists heading through Bad Rock Canyon on U.S. 2 will soon likely enjoy safer, smoother passage over the South Fork of the Flathead River at the edge of Hungry Horse.

On Tuesday, Dec. 18, the Montana Department of Transportation will unveil the new South Fork bridge during a ribbon-cutting at noon. The ceremony is open to the public.

The new bridge includes a pedestrian and bike crossing, a feature absent from the former span.

Construction began in June 2017, with general contractor Sletten Construction handling the work. Sletten is an employee-owned construction company headquartered in Great Falls.

State Sen. Dee Brown, R-Hungry Horse, and Mike Tooley, director of the Montana Department of Transportation, are expected to participate.

In fact, Brown will participate in a bigger way.

As a fundraiser, the Hungry Horse and Martin City fire departments sold raffle tickets, offering the winning ticket holder the opportunity to be the first person to cross the new bridge.

In the raffle drawing held Wednesday night at the Martin City Fire Department, Brown won first place, meaning she will be the first person to cross the span.

She will be followed by second-place winner Alyssa Alsop and third-place winner Darwon Stoneman.

Ashley Thompson of the Martin City Fire Department said the current plan is for the three winners to drive across the bridge from west to east in their personal vehicles.

The Hungry Horse and Martin City fire departments also will take part in the event.

Grand opening

What: Official opening of the new South Fork bridge at Hungry Horse. Three winners of a fundraising raffle will be the first people to cross the bridge.

Where: U.S. 2, bridge across the South Fork of the Flathead River

When: Tuesday, Dec. 18, at noon

Advice: Bundle up.

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