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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Glendive in Dawson County, Montana — The American West (Mountains)
 

Bell Street Bridge

 
 
Bell Street Bridge Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, September 10, 2020
1. Bell Street Bridge Marker
Inscription.  he Northern Pacific Railroad platted the townsite of Glendive in 1882 against the arid Montana “badlands.” The location was an ideal supply and distribution center since it was where the railroad first met the Yellowstone River, but Glendive looked to ranchers and farmers on the river’s opposite side for economic support. After more than a decade of debate, the county erected the first bridge at Glendive in the mid-1890s. The four-span bridge included a swing span because the Yellowstone was still considered navigable. The bridge provided stockmen and farmers direct access to the railroad and made stage travel to points northwest much more reliable. In 1899, the bridge was washed out by a flood and ice jam. The Army Corps of Engineers had by then determined the Yellowstone no longer navigable, and the bridge was rebuilt using one original span plus three new ones. It sufficed until better technology rendered the older structure obsolete. The new bridge, constructed between 1924 and 1926 with federal aid under the auspices of the Montana State Highway Commission, consists of six riveted Warren through trusses. This type of bridge construction
Bell Street Bridge and Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, September 10, 2020
2. Bell Street Bridge and Marker
is characterized by the “W” configuration made by its diagonal members and above-roadway trusswork. At 1,352 feet, the Bell Street Bridge is one of the longest of its kind in Montana, representing a significant engineering accomplishment and an essential part of the area’s commercial development.
 
Erected by Montana Historical Society.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Bridges & Viaducts. In addition, it is included in the Montana National Register Sign Program series list.
 
Location. 47° 6.341′ N, 104° 43.107′ W. Marker is in Glendive, Montana, in Dawson County. Marker can be reached from West Bell Street near North Clough Street. The maker is located at the east end of the bridge. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 420 West Bell Street, Glendive MT 59330, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Glendive, MT (here, next to this marker); Charles Krug House (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); First Methodist Episcopal Church and Parsonage (approx. 0.2 miles away); J.C. Penney Store (approx. ¼ mile away); 107 West Bell Street (approx. ¼ mile away); Sacred Heart Church (approx. ¼ mile away); Dion Brothers Building
Bell Street Bridge image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, September 10, 2020
3. Bell Street Bridge
(approx. ¼ mile away); Dion Building / Exchange Bank (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Glendive.
 
More about this marker. The bridge is closed to vehicle traffic, but open for pedestrians and bicycles.
 
Bell Street Bridge image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, September 10, 2020
4. Bell Street Bridge
You are invited to walk and/or bike the 1325 foot Bell Street Bridge preserved for the safely of the citizen and visitors of Dawson County as the travel from one side to the other.
Enjoy the historical value of the bridge - be aware of its architecture and the significant accomplishments of the past. View the beauty of the Yellowstone River and wildlife that's often seen along its banks.
The Bell Street Bridge Historical Committee
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on December 28, 2020. It was originally submitted on December 28, 2020, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 36 times since then and 4 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on December 28, 2020, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.
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Feb. 25, 2021