9 votes

Fort Keogh Bridge


Photo taken by Historic American Engineering Record

View photos at Library of Congress

BH Photo #220104


Pennsylvania through truss bridge over Yellowstone River on Fort Keogh Access Road
Custer County, Montana
Removed in the spring 2012 according to info from the Montana Historical Society
Built 1902, damaged by flooding in 2011, later removed in spring 2012
- William S. Hewett & Co. of Minneapolis, Minnesota
Two span pin-connected Pennsylvania through truss with a single pin-connected pony truss approach span at one end and a deck plate girder span at the other end.
Length of largest span: 310.0 ft.
Total length: 740.0 ft.
Deck width: 16.0 ft.
Approximate latitude, longitude
+46.39806, -105.89556   (decimal degrees)
46°23'53" N, 105°53'44" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
13/431153/5138665 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Big Hill
Inventory number
BH 50071 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • May 9, 2022: New photo from Geoff Hubbs
  • December 5, 2021: New photos from Geoff Hubbs
  • January 28, 2015: Updated by Dave King: Added categories "HAER documented" & "Wooden deck"
  • November 5, 2012: Updated by Jason Smith: This bridge is gone!
  • November 7, 2011: Added by Nathan Holth



Fort Keogh Bridge
Posted November 28, 2021, by Rob Carrafa (robert [dot] carrafa [at] nwc [dot] edu)

I was wondering what happened to this bridge! I grew up in MC and I remember spending a lot of time around there. My grandpa took my brother and I fishing all over Custer Co. and this was one of my favorite spots. It wasn't so much for the fishing, but exploring the area and the bridge.

I actually learned to drive on the gravel road on the east side of the bridge, driving back and forth. I still don't know how I managed it but I drove across the Fort Keogh Bridge when I was 12 in my grandpa's station wagon lol.

I cannot remember, but where did the road go after you crossed the bridge, heading west? Seeing an ariel shot of the bridge truly is impressive. It's the first time I've seen it from that angle, and it gives you a completely different perspective. It was beautiful!

Fort Keogh Bridge
Posted November 6, 2012, by Jason Smith (JDSmith77 [at] gmx [dot] net)

I think you are referring to one of the Tongue River crossings located not far from the Ft. Keogh Bridge and sadly it was demolished last year, although I`m not at all sure when it was....

Fort Keogh Bridge
Posted November 5, 2012, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

The was one of the largest and most ornate examples of its type. In a state with very few truss bridges of any kind, this is absolutely disgusting. Its not like the bridge was in the way. Montana has plenty of space.

If I recall correctly, Montana has another, smaller pin-connected PA truss, and I believe they want to bulldoze it too.

Fort Keogh Bridge
Posted November 5, 2012, by Jason Smith (JDSmith77 [at] gmx [dot] net)


Does anybody have a little brown barf bag handy? After receiving the news via e-mail this morning, my stomach is churning from disgust! Too bad that my nomination of the bridge for the Chronicles' 2011 Bridge Pics Award did not persuade Montana to heed to the demands of saving at least ONE of the through truss spans! It's really appalling what's going on here! ;-(

Fort Keogh Bridge
Posted November 7, 2011, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

No kidding!

Just pick the spans up and set them on dry land!!! Of course I realize this will cut severely into someones scrap metal profits...but considering this is stated to be the last of several built in this region...come on!

Todd Baslee photo

Fort Keogh Bridge
Posted November 7, 2011, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

This truly magnificent bridge is undoubtedly one of the rarest and most beautiful historic bridges in all of Montana. From its ornate cast iron portals to its impressive pin-connected Pennsylvania truss spans, this bridge is to be demolished as soon as before this winter. The bridge's substructure was severely damaged during a flood and the bridge is now significantly twisted... but still standing. They plan to spend $800,000 to reduce this treasure to scrap using cranes and barges. This is absolutely pathetic. The cranes and barges should be used to lift the bridge off of its destroyed substructure. The barren wasteland that surrounds the bridge provides more than ample room to simply set the bridge on the ground either as an exhibit, or just as storage until new homes can be found for the bridge. Be sure to view the Flickr link I provided to see the flood damage. The pony trusses are severely damaged (but we could restore them here in Michigan) while the through trusses are just twisted a bit, not as serious as it looks.

After discovering the fate of this bridge I needed to run and grab my...