New plan in place for bridge to connect freeway |

New plan in place for bridge to connect freeway

The contractor working on the Galena Creek bridge has come up with a new way of constructing the 300-foot-high span.

The bridge contract was originally set more than two years ago, but the first contractor backed out of the deal, saying it wasn’t safe to put up the huge spans as originally conceived. Kraemer & Sons, of Phoenix, had a disagreement with Nevada Department of Transportation engineers over whether the arched truss could be built in two huge pieces, then raised to connect in the middle. Wind conditions, they said, made the job of actually raising and connecting the two pieces unsafe.

They were replaced by C.C. Meyers, of California, which said it would pour the concrete around the truss sections in pieces instead.

Now, according to NDOT spokesman Scott Magruder, C.C. Meyers officials have proposed instead using massive amounts of fill dirt in the ravine which terminates in Pleasant Valley to support the truss construction.

“The idea is to fill in part of the Galena Creek drainage to allow them to build the bridge without using cranes,” Magruder said.

The creek itself would be funneled through culverts at the base of the dirt fill during construction.

Magruder said they would use the dirt to build a platform as they raise the truss to the road bed 300 feet above Galena Creek.

“When it’s done, the fill would all be taken away,” he said.

He said NDOT is reviewing the proposal and working with other agencies, including environmental officials. He said the idea would be to “leave the creek and surrounding area in better condition than it is today.”

He described the plan as an innovative way of completing the bridge structure, the largest ever designed by NDOT.

He said details of the plan will be available in June.

The contract is for $393 million with Fisher Sand and Gravel, of North Dakota, to finish the bridge work and build 8.5 miles of six-lane freeway from the Mount Rose Junction to Winters Ranch at the north end of Washoe Valley. Fisher contracted with Meyers to do the bridge portion of the job.

It is supposed to be completed in less than four years.

• Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at or 687-8750.


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