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This fall, Park County’s historic Carbella Bridge reconstruction will be finished



Billings, Montana – This year will mark the completion of reconstruction operations for the historic Carbella Bridge in Park County, which was devastated by water from the Yellowstone River two years ago.

“In the early morning hours of June 13, 2022, we got word that there was some flooding in the upper Yellowstone basin. While we were there, we realized that the river was coming up faster than anyone expected,” says Park County Public Works Director Matt Whitman.

In 1918, the one-lane bridge was constructed. In the Tom Miner Basin, north of Gardiner, it supported Tom Miner Creek Road over the Yellowstone River until floodwaters washed it away.

According to Whitman, the loss of the bridge compelled locals and tourists to choose a less convenient, lengthier path. Currently, Carbella Bridge replacement work is in progress.

“Currently the contractor is working at placing rip rap to armor the abutments. Then in the next couple weeks, they’ll start drilling for the foundation for the abutments. Then work will continue from there over the summer,” says Whitman.
The new bridge will be 210 feet long and 24 feet broad, with two lanes to accommodate additional traffic and to survive future floods. It will also span the Yellowstone River.

Whitman explains, “It will be designed to withstand a 500-year event, hold modern vehicles—the vehicles that crossed over that bridge in 1918 are a little lighter than today’s vehicles. It’ll have a standard highway rating on it so everyone with horse trailers, or other vehicles, can use the bridge too.”

Whitman reports that the new bridge has homeowners and outdoor enthusiasts thrilled.

“That area, just like every area in Park County, is seeing an increase in use. A lot of people go up there to view grizzly bears in the fall. And with that longer detour route, it’s not as great for driving, as well as seeing a large amount of use,” he says.

By October 2024, the bridge should be finished. Check out the webpage of the Carbella Bridge Replacement Project for updates.


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