Montana Department of Transportation | Flathead Indian Reservation, MT
Rendering of a proposed bridge alternative spanning Post Creek.

A Value Analysis study was commissioned by the Montana DOT, with Benesch as the facilitator. A blended team of DOT, Benesch, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and members of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes (CSKT) collaborated to complete the analysis.

Passing through the Flathead Indian Reservation, the 3.7-mile project will reconstruct a two-lane highway to a more integrated alignment with the topography, including a more forgiving cross section with wider shoulders and improved geometry at the intersections. The project also includes a multi-use path adjacent to the highway for bicycle, pedestrian and equestrian use. A 500-foot-long bridge is proposed over Post Creek to not only accommodate hydraulic capacity but also create connectivity of the landscape from one side the highway to the other. In addition, the large bridge also creates a substantial wildlife underpass to mitigate vehicle collisions with wildlife–grizzly bears in particular.

The VE team speculated on 138 ideas for the project. Nine proposals were developed that ranged from paving modifications to various bridge configurations and foundation methods addressing artesian conditions and liquefaction. The resulting construction cost avoidance totaled $756,000.

A separate Risk Analysis workshop was also completed virtually for the bridge component of this project. The primary purpose of the workshop was to quantify the risk costs associated with the Post Creek Bridge concepts. Comparison of the change in risk cost as well as ratings of non-quantifiable risks will provide additional analysis for informed decision making. The risk analysis team was comprised of Benesch and FHWA engineers and biologists.

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