Blackfoot bridge piers will stay in river

News Type: State Source: Missoulian
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MILLTOWN — A wet blanket has been thrown over the plan to excise two large bridge piers from the middle of the Blackfoot River here.

The Montana Department of Transportation told state and federal agency partners in Helena on Tuesday it’s not going to happen, at least not as part of ongoing reconstruction of two Interstate 90 bridges that the concrete structures used to hold up.

Dwane Kailey, MDT’s highways and engineering administrator, said Montana Rail Link modeling found that removal would increase the river flow enough to require new riverside piers for the railroad bridge just upstream. The piers have been in place since the bridge was opened in 1908.