The Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) will be replacing the bridge over the Dodson South Canal, located approximately 1.5 miles south of Dodson, on Secondary Highway 204 (S 204) with a new structure. To maintain the safety and effectiveness of the route, the existing bridge, which has been identified as being in poor condition, will be replaced with a 14-foot by 10-foot double-cell concrete box culvert.
The planned box culvert will allow for gradual roadway slopes and the removal of the guard rail. This improvement will benefit both driver safety and roadway maintenance. In addition to the bridge replacement, the roadway next to the new structure will be reconstructed. A pavement preservation project on S 204 will also be completed while the road is closed. This work will include resurfacing the roadway to extend the life of the existing road surface.
Construction is expected to begin during winter of 2023 or early spring of 2024. Work will occur when water is not in the canal and could last up to three months. MDT requested input from the public and stakeholders, including landowners, Phillips County leadership, and local Emergency Medical Services (EMS), to determine a detour route for the project. Based on the input received, a temporary detour will be put in place to South Wagner Road via Aklaki Road. The detour will be 22.5 miles long, an increase in travel distance of 15 miles.
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S 204 and the bridge provides local access to US Route 2 and Highway 191. It is an identified mail route and is used frequently to move agricultural equipment and products.