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Bridge construction project to run through next summer

Indian Valley Record of Greenville, California

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The Plumas County Public Works Department is in the process of replacing the structurally deficient Bailey Creek Bridge on County Road 322-A, approximately four miles east of the town of Chester, which provides access to US Forest Service and private forestlands north of the Lake Almanor Peninsula.

Built in 1928, the two-lane bridge is in a major state of disrepair, evidenced by exposed reinforcing steel at many sections of the bridge.

According to the PWD, the California Department of Transportation inspection report classified the bridge as structurally deficient, making it eligible for replacement with federal funding through the Federal Highway Administration's Highway Bridge Program.

The program allows counties to apply for funds to replace necessary infrastructure such as bridges that are shown to be in a state of severe or dangerous degeneration.

John Mannle, associate engineer and transportation planner for DPW, said work at the bridge site began late August 2014.

"The new bridge will be built wider to meet current standards," he said, "featuring a 32-foot width and pre-cast concrete girders," and with approximately the same horizontal and vertical alignment as the old bridge.

The 80-foot long Bailey Creek Bridge was constructed under a single contract that also provided for the construction of the Rock Creek Bridge, now replaced.

The total paid for constructing both bridges in 1928 was $10,263.66, according to DPW records.

The new project will cost, from start to finish, just under $3 million, Mannle said.

He said the new bridge would improve the water conveyance capacity of Bailey Creek by eliminating the existing bridge columns for a single span design.

Mannle noted that County Road 322-A used to be the state highway before Highway 36 was built in 1967.

"The Department of Public Works applied for and received approval for Federal funding in 2007 to complete the preliminary survey for the bridge replacement project," Mannle recounted.

Formal engineering plans were submitted August 2011, with environmental clearance granted in 2012.

"The final construction funds for the project were received two years ago," he added.

A temporary metal structure was first built adjacent to the older bridge as a detour to provide unimpeded access to areas further west of the site during demolition and construction, "because Fish & Wildlife didn't want us to build a culvert crossing with limited access points" to the roadway, explained Mannle.

The interim bridge allows for "snowmobiles during the winter, as well as clear passage for timber and emergency vehicles until the new bridge is completed," which is expected to occur between June and the end of August 2016, "depending on winter conditions," which could slow work down.

For more details on the bridge construction project, go to the DPW website at: countyofplumas.com/public works/and look up the Bailey Creek Replacement project by clicking on Projects.



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Original Publication Date: October 21, 2015



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