PINE CREEK — The long process to replace an aging bridge in Pine Creek was capped-off last week with a small ceremony by the construction company and county officials.
Officially known as bridge 13872, the structure in the spotlight is the first bridge motorists cross when heading south toward Pine Creek on Pine Creek Road — or from the other direction, the last bridge someone would cross heading north to Pinehurst on Pine Creek Road.
It was in 2013 that Shoshone County first applied for grant funding with the Idaho Transportation Department and Local Highway Technical Assistance Council to fix the deteriorating structure. Bridges are rated on a scale of 0 to 100 in terms of structural stability, with 100 being considered entirely sufficient and 0 being entirely deficient. Before its replacement, this Pine Creek bridge was rated at 7.
The original contract for a new bridge called for phased construction; or building one complete side and then moving onto the other. Through an innovative proposal from the project’s contractor though, a temporary bridge structure was used to detour traffic.
When funding was finally secured, a multi-group project was initiated that involved personnel from Shoshone County, as owners and project oversight; JUB Engineers, as the design firm; HMH Engineering, as the construction administration and inspection firm; C.L. Heilman Company, Inc., as the Construction Contractor; and LHTAC, as overall project and funding administration.
LHTAC Resident Engineer Megan Kautz said that the project gained federal funding by way of the efforts of Shoshone County staff through a Bridge Program administered by LHTAC.
Total construction time was scheduled for three months, but crews were able to finish 19 days early and even a bit under budget.
The replacement included a 130-foot, single span, concrete girder bridge with enhanced drainage and safety features.
Shoshone County Public Works Director James Cason said that in addition to the added width and reinforced structure, the new bridge is an improvement over the old one because it has no center support.
“This is great because it keeps trees and other things from hanging up,” he said.
With this bridge officially opened for use on Oct. 4, Shoshone County is now turning its attention to other bridges in the area that have similarly low ratings and need replacement. Two bridges in particular that are high up on the county’s list are right down the road from bridge 13872.
Designs for the Silver Bridge in Enaville have also been asked for, but nothing has been confirmed at this time.