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RATTLESNAKE BRIDGE UPDATE 12-8-14 LMS

Dan Sharp of Northwest Engineering met with the Lemhi County Commissioners Monday, December 8, to bring them up to date on Rattlesnake Bridge replacement progress. He said the bridge’s flexible abutment designs are about 50 percent complete and that planned construction will feature Hilfiker Retaining Walls.

Hilfiker walls are made of flexible wire mats placed within layers of compacted backfill thereby creating the necessary tensile strength. The company provides videos which detail proper installation. Sharp said the mats are easy to put together as well as being a lot less expensive and less intrusive than concrete. The main cost of any bridge is the cost of the abutments. He said he feels this technique provides the most economical installation since county crews can do the work and he encouraged the commissioners to view the process in terms of other bridge needs in the county. He said that by employing this technique, Lemhi County will be on the leading edge of bridge building technology in Idaho.

Sharp also said the soil sources for the west side of the river have been evaluated and deemed suitable for the required abutment backfill. He said with an estimated eight foot lift to the girders the bridge will be about four feet higher than the highway. Adjustments will be made when the final and actual bridge numbers are known. Estimates indicate a bridge span of approximately 180 feet.

The permitting application process will begin when the bridge designs are finalized. Sharp said the commissioners would shortly be receiving, for their review, a package containing the bridge’s structural information.

Even though the subject of a Lake Creek connective road has been quiet for several months it is still in play and will be moving forward. Sharp said they intend to use the flexible Hilfiker Retaining Walls technique on erosion areas along the Lake Creek Road. He said engineers have been calling the proposed connection the “Rattlesnake Road” and Sharp requested the commissioners rename it to lessen confusion. He was advised to check with the County Building Department to see if that area has been assigned a name.

County Building Inspector Gary Goodman said there is no name that he knows of and he suggested the name of North Deer Creek Road for the property running on the west side of the river between the Rattlesnake Bridge and Lake Creek.


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