Sletten Helps Get MRL Back on Track

Sletten Helps Get MRL Back on Track 

Editor: Debbie Reaney 


Thanks to the experts at Sletten Construction, Montana Rail Link's (MRL) main line was put back into service in late July after they helped rebuild Reed Point bridge over the Yellowstone River. Reopening more than a week ahead of estimates! The bridge collapsed earlier this summer on June 24, sending 10 cars into the river and derailing an additional seven cars following an overnight bridge collapse in Columbus, MT. Fortunately, the train crew left the scene with no reported injuries. Several train cars crossing the broken bridge derailed and submerged into the Yellowstone River--some of which contained potentially hazardous materials. As of October 2023, clean-up of these substances was still underway; officials noting that residents and crews were in no immediate danger. The bridge collapse also took out a fiber-optic cable providing internet service to many customers in the state, causing even more of a concern to locals. 

As Yellowstone experienced record flooding in 2022, it is suspected that the collapse could have resulted from flood-related erosion that weakened the support of the bridge's foundation over time. Reports indicate that June last year saw this area of the Yellowstone River experience record levels of water flow due to snow melting from rapidly rising temperatures. This impacted the river channel, the Yellowstone national park and associated structures. It has been suggested that the flow levels are likely to have been repeated this year and in turn would have increased the rate of riverbed erosion and degradation on the bridge. 

Bridge construction began once the last of ten derailed cars was removed from the river and the remaining cars were removed from the east side of the bridge on July 3, 2023, according to a unified command update. 

To restore the traffic flow, environment, and connectivity in the area quickly, various contractors were selected to work on this project. Sletten Construction, along with ZA Construction who performed the pre-bore for the project, and Hamilton Construction who did superstructure work were chosen to rebuild the bridge as a team. Sletten has been dedicated to building strong foundations since 1928 and in 1958 expanded their services by developing a specialty Bridge Division proficient in the erection of bridges, dams, and roadwork, specifically in the western United States. Due to their expansive knowledge and decades of expertise, construction work was completed ahead of initial estimates, allowing service to officially be restored after only 28 days (about 4 weeks) post outage. For this job, the crew knew exactly what equipment they would need and called their local Sales & Service Team from International Construction Equipment, Inc. (ICE®). Shortly after delivery, the ICE® I-46V2 Diesel Impact Hammer with its simple, reliable design and automatic lubrication was on the scene. Sletten also utilized their previously purchased ICE® I-36V2 to drive the steel H-Pile; creating the foundation for the new bridge quickly and safely. A temporary causeway utilizing driven pipe piles was built to access the damaged span and freight cars while also creating short-term access to the new bridge, further aiding in the swift completion of this project. Afterwards, Hamilton Construction set up the bridge superstructure with their large crane. Although Sletten was just a part of the bridge reconstruction efforts their dedicated teamwork was tantamount to this joint venture's success. 

As normal train traffic resumes, crews and contractors will remain on site to remove all equipment and material utilized throughout the process and continue to restore the area. This reparation will provide long-term prevention of another safety, health and environmental hazard occurring in the Yellowstone River area due to infrastructure failure. International Construction Equipment, Inc. Is thrilled to have been able to provide the equipment needed to get this important project "back on track." Amazing work, Sletten Construction! Your dedication to excellence and quick response to this event is a testament to the quality of your work.  

Learn more about the ICE® I-46V2 and ICE® I-36V2 


Media Contact-    
Pollyanna Cunningham, MA, MBA    
Vice President Marketing, Brand and Media Relations  

Vice President IT and IT Comm 
ICE® - International Construction Equipment, Inc    
Office - 704-821-8200    
Email -   

Posted in Diesel Impact Pile Hammers, ICE Team. Tagged as #BridgeRenovation, #YellowstonePark, Elevated Highways, H-Beam piles, ICE I-46 Diesel Hammer, Infrastructure, Railroad.

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