Tester Announces $10 Million BUILD Grant to Replace Bridges in Toston

Investment Will Rebuild Deteriorating Bridges on Highway 287 Between Helena and Three Forks

(U.S. Senate)-U.S. Senator Jon Tester today announced that the Montana Department of Transportation will receive a $10 million grant to replace two bridges on Highway 287 near Toston.

The Better Utilizing Investment to Leverage Development (BUILD) Grant, formerly known as a TIGER Grant, will be used to replace the two deteriorating bridges and enhance highway safety in Broadwater County between Helena and Three Forks.

“Anyone who has traveled up and down Highway 287 knows exactly how dangerous these bridges are,” Tester said. “This investment will improve public safety, strengthen our transportation infrastructure, and eliminate a major choke point for local farmers and ranchers trucking their products.”

Tester sent a letter to U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao in July in support of the Montana Department of Transportation’s BUILD Grant application. Today, Secretary Chao personally called Tester to announce that the Toston bridge project will receive the grant.

The Highway 287 corridor near Toston has a higher-than-average crash rate, and the BUILD Grant will widen the narrow bridges that sit above the Missouri River and Montana Rail Link train tracks, as well as correct the substandard curves that pose a safety risk.

The Montana Department of Transportation has already invested $100 million to widen the highway around the bridges on Highway 287.

Both bridges are designated as “fracture critical” bridges and require monitoring on a three-month cycle. Neither bridge has been significantly improved since the 1950’s.

In addition to the Toston bridge project, Tester today also secured a $12.7 million BUILD Grant for the City of Kalispell to further complete the Kalispell bypass project.