Popular bridge at Lake Como being replaced

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For nearly 50 years, the wooden bridge at the bottom of Rock Creek Falls has provided a great route for, not to mention a good view of the falls at the head of Lake Como. Well, it’s time to remove the old bridge and erect a new one at the Bitterroot National Forest Recreation Site, southwest of Hamilton.

Over the next four weeks, a team from Bitterroot National Forest will dismantle the old structure and install a new one. The bridge is part of the Lake Como Loop National Recreational Trail around one of the most popular lakes in the Northern Forest Service region. The trail itself is incredibly popular with the public. Tod McKay of the Bitterroot National Forest said work would begin next week and the bridge would be closed on October 11. So prepare your hike this weekend or you’ll have to wait until the new span is complete.

The bridge is on trail 580 at the 3.0 mile post and the new span will include a “glulam superstructure, deck and railing”. McKay also says the approaches to the trails will be straightened out and improved. The public should expect to see helicopter activity. A chopper will be used to make the old material and bring the new parts of the bridge. Workers will primarily use the trail on the south side around the lake, so the public can still walk on the north side. However, the trail will be closed for stock use.

If you need more information, call the Darby Ranger District at 406 821-3913. Updates will also be on the Bitterroot National Forest Page.

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