Lewis and Clark Bridge

CH 8-6.2100px.jpg

Title

Lewis and Clark Bridge

Subject

Truss bridges

Description

When it opened in 1930 the Lewis and Clark Bridge was the only public access over the Missouri River for 350 miles. Located six miles east of Wolf Point, the new bridge connected residents to outside markets and Canadian neighbors. The spot had long been considered a strategic location. Lewis and Clark had camped there in 1805 and an army engineer noted in 1860 that it was the logical place for a bridge. But even after the Great Northern Railway arrived in 1887 and the federal government opened area tribal lands in 1913 for homesteading, the only crossing for man and beast was by ferry in good weather and over the ice in winter. In spite of its continuing importance to regional travel, by the late twentieth century the bridge had become too narrow for modern traffic and was replaced. Its symbolic importance, however, prompted its preservation. The Montana Historical Society accepted ownership of the historic three-span Pennsylvania through truss bridge in 1998.

Date

1930

Latitude and Longitude

48.0666841, -105.5352743

County

McCone County
Roosevelt County

Owner

Montana Historical Society, Helena, Montana