Work has begun on repairing and upgrading the Inland Street bridge in Canyon City, with the goal of lifting the bridge about 2 feet higher to protect it from spring floods.
A large crane was temporarily “borrowed” from the torrefaction project construction site at Malheur Lumber Co. on Aug. 7. Using an I-beam frame, the bridge was lifted and set on concrete Jersey barriers so work can proceed on the bridge abutments.
The 27-foot long two-lane bridge, which is constructed of large creosote timbers, sustained impacts by passing logs when Canyon Creek reached flood stage in April without significant damage. An engineer inspected the bridge after the creek level dropped.
The Inland Street bridge is needed to provide access for residents at the north end of Humbolt Street and to bus students to Humbolt Elementary School.
Past rough estimates to raise Inland Street bridge have typically topped $1 million, but Canyon City Mayor Steve Fischer presented the court with an engineer’s estimate for the job at only $76,500. This included engineering, bid assistance, oversight, construction contingency as well as legal and administrative costs.
The Grant County Court agreed at their July 24 meeting to split out-of-pocket construction expenses for the bridge project with Canyon City. The upgraded bridge could be ready for traffic by Oct. 1, Fischer told the court.
Fischer told the Eagle the concrete abutments will be raised about 2 feet on the east side and less on the west side, as the bridge was set at an angle in the past. When completed this time, the bridge will be level, he said.
A ramp will be needed on the east side to bring Inland Street up to the bridge’s new height. The ramp will be constructed of compacted rock and gravel. A continuous layer of blacktop will then be run up the ramp and across the bridge, he said.
During county court discussion July 24, the court agreed to help Canyon City by providing gravel, heavy equipment and labor from its road department. On Aug. 8, Canyon City Public Works Director Les Percy was seen working on the bridge abutments with two workers from the county road department.
The pedestrian crossing that was attached to the Inland Street bridge was removed during the April flooding to prevent it from being torn loose and sent hurtling downstream.
The pedestrian bridge was part of the Prospector Trail, which was constructed along Canyon Creek using funding from the sale of a house donated by Wells Fargo in 2010. The goal was to provide the safe route for schoolchildren. The Grant County Resource Enhancement Action Team was the fiscal agent for the $50,000 trail project.
Fischer said he has talked to Grant School District 3 Superintendent Bret Uptmor about restoring the pedestrian bridge once the other work is done.