Varney Bridge

Varney Bridge replacement work begins Friday, March 29

ENNIS – The Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) will close the Varney Bridge Friday, March 29 as work begins to replace the bridge. The bridge crosses the Madison River on Varney Road (S-249) approximately eight miles south of Ennis in Madison County. Construction is expected to be completed in December.

During construction:

• The bridge will be closed to through traffic.

• Motorists will be detoured around the bridge through Ennis using Highway 287 (east

of the bridge) and Varney Road (west of the bridge).

• The Fishing Access Site on the east side of the bridge will be open.

• The river will remain open to boats.

• Please expect minor delays during construction.

• Boats will be directed through the construction area.

“The Fishing Access Site located on the east side of the bridge will remain open during construction,” said MDT Project Manager Shane Watson. “Boats and fisherman in the river will be able to float through the construction area.”

The project will improve motorist safety and help reduce water and ice running over the bridge. The existing Varney Bridge is a 12-foot single-lane structure originally built in 1897.

The bridge has a pier in the middle of the stream that is an obstacle to water and ice

moving under the bridge. During the winter months, water and ice back up on the pier and run over the bridge.

The project includes:

• Constructing a single-span bridge removing all piers in the river.

• Widening the bridge to include two 12-foot travel lanes, 2-foot shoulders and


• Adjusting the alignment of the road with the bridge to improve sight distances. To sign up for construction email updates, text VARNEY to 22828. Questions and comments can be directed to Brandon Coates at or by phone at (406) 465-3350.

For more information, contact the Montana Department of Transportation at (406) 444-9229. Those using a TTY may call 1 (800) 335-7592

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The Madisonian

65 N. MT Hwy 287
Ennis, MT 59729

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