For almost 50 years, the wooden bridge at bottom of Rock Creek Falls has provided a great route to, not to mention a good view of, the falls at the head of Lake Como. Well, it's time to retire the old bridge and erect a new one at the Bitterroot National Forest recreation site southwest of Hamilton.

For the next four weeks, a crew from the Bitterroot National Forest will be taken down the old structure and putting up a new one. The bridge is part of the Como Lake Loop National Recreation Trail around one of the most popular lakes in the Forest Service's Northern Region. The trail itself is incredibly popular for the public. Tod McKay of the Bitterroot National Forest said the work will begin next week, with the bridge closed as of October 11. So get your hike in this weekend or you'll have to wait until the new span is complete.

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The bridge is on Trail 580 at milepost 3.0 and the new span will include a "glulam superstructure, decking and railing." McKay also says the trail approaches will be straightened and improved. The public should expect to see some helicopter activity. A chopper will be used to carry out the old material and bring in the new bridge parts. The workers will primarily use the south side trail around the lake, so the public can still hike the north side. However, the trail will be closed to stock use.

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

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