October 31, 2006

Last week the effort to reinforce the bridges along I-90 suffered a setback when an excavator slid off a work pad into Blackfoot River, reports the Missoulian. No one was injured in the accident, though the project has stopped while officials from the Army Corps of Engineers review the incident.

The five bridges over the Blackfoot River in Milltown need to upgraded or replaced (in the case of the pedestrian bridge) to withstand the strong flows of the river once the Milltown Dam is removed.

Earlier in October a portion of the work pad embankment – built atop old Blackfoot River sediments — sloughed off into the river. The excavator was reinforcing the bank with rip-rap when it slid into the drink. “It’s a construction project,” said Russ Forba, EPA’s Milltown project manager in a Missoulian interview. “They’re working in a difficult environment.”

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