By Tucker Harris EBS STAFF
BIG SKY – A pedestrian bridge installed Tuesday at the entrance to Big Sky marks the first phase of a new project that intends to further establish the “gateway to Big Sky,” according to its developers.
Located at the northwest corner of U.S. Highway 191 and Montana Highway 64, the bridge crosses the Middle Fork of the West Fork of the Gallatin River and connects a 5-acre property located across from the Big Sky Conoco to the Bighorn Complex retail and restaurant spaces. The bridge is the first feature of what the property owners are calling The Corner Project.
The Corner Project is owned and is being developed by Western Mountain Investments. Western Mountain Investments has the same ownership as Middle Fork Properties LLC, which is developing the Flatiron development.
The Corner Project, according to owner representative Chris Leonard, will include a mix of commercial facilities that support people coming into Big Sky.
“Ideally, it’s a place where people can stop and pick up everything they need on their way to wherever they’re staying in Big Sky,” Leonard said.
Western Mountain Investments hopes to donate the pedestrian bridge to the Big Sky Community Organization to help facilitate BSCO’s greater Big Sky trail connection project with the Dudley Creek Trailhead.
One of Western Mountain Investments owners, Michael Schreiner, said he originally purchased the northwest corner property back in 2018 from Jim Dolan, co-founder of Spanish Peaks Mountain Club and an angel investor for Yellowstone Club.
The bridge was transferred from a property in the Gallatin Canyon.
Western Mountain Investments plans to use the 5 acres of land to build around a historical building already on the premises. The building, Chet Huntley’s old sales office, is currently home to Stillwater Architecture, Stay Montana, Peak Clean and a Grizzly Outfitters location.
“This is a historic property, and we feel some responsibility to that history,” Leonard said. “And that’s why we’re keeping these buildings that are here now is partly out of Michael’s sense that they belong here; They’ve been here forever that to tear them down would be taking away a piece of history.”
Schreiner said he hopes visitors and community members will take advantage of the opportunity to park and go for a bike ride or access trails along Gallatin Gateway. The Skyline Bus also stops at the Corner Project, allowing bus riders to access the trails and the Bighorn Complex via the bridge.
“It’s for the community,” Schreiner said.
Schreiner said The Corner Project team hopes to have the bridge completed by the end of the month.