A Cost-Effective Irrigation Solution

The Bitter Root Irrigation District (BRID) in Ravalli County, Montana, provides irrigation water to approximately 1,400 irrigators on 16,665 acres along a more than 70-mile-long canal system. The Bitter Root Irrigation District Siphon 1 – Phase 3 Improvements Project improves an 1150-foot section of a 5,654 foot-long steel pipeline and supporting bridge that crosses the Bitterroot River. This siphon and 1900’s-era bridge deliver surface water from Lake Como to the ditches and canals throughout the eastern side of the Bitterroot Valley.

The siphon and bridge both presented serious problems including structural integrity and leaking that would eventually fail. After careful inspection, Morrison-Maierle found deterioration in all areas including the pipe, expansion joints, shallow pier footings, and bridge trusses. Investigations indicated that the bridge footings lacked sufficient depth, and as the river migrated, the entire bridge would eventually collapse.