Trout Creek bridge complete before winter
It took a team effort to build the new Trout Creek bridge on Donner Pass Road in order to finish the project by the town’s October deadline.
The Town of Truckee worked with Yubacon Inc. and the pre-fabricated bridge company Contech Construction Products Inc., to complete the bridge installation before winter.
In early September the odds of completing the bridge this year were only 50-50 because of a lack of available construction materials and modifications to the original design. Mike Murray from Yubacon contacted the Roseville-based Contech about the Trout Creek project to get a pre-fabricated bridge delivered in time.
Fifteen pre-fabricated sections arrived on semi-trucks from Bakersfield a week earlier than expected and were installed piece-by-piece on Oct. 7 and 8, said Mike Farren, project consultant for Contech.
Using cranes and forklifts, the bridge units, weighing between 35,000 to 44,000 pounds, were lifted and shifted into place, Farren said. The installation went smoothly because of teamwork, he said.
“When you put people like that together it’s going to happen,” Farren said.
Todd Landry, the town’s senior engineer, also said it took an effort from everyone involved to get the bridge built before winter.
The bridge work is the first phase of the Trout Creek restoration project, which addresses the flooding downtown that caused water damage to Assumption Catholic Church on East Street in January 1997 and December 2005. The overall project will rehabilitate a three-mile stretch of the waterway in the next two to five years.
However, the bridge project did encounter a few bumps along the way. Several fiber-optic utility lines that needed to be re-routed caused delays when the utility companies did not take responsibility for the lines, Landry said.
The road closure on Donner Pass Road was extended to include a total of 20 consecutive days. The decision to keep Donner Pass Road closed allowed construction to continue on schedule, he said. Donner Pass Road reopened according to schedule on Monday.
In the next couple weeks, a guard rail will be installed on the bridge, Landry said, while the town will also focus on planting native grasses and willow as part of the revegetation process near Trout Creek.
The Department of Fish and Game will help in properly placing layers of rock in the creek for fish to spawn, Landry said.
The pre-fabricated bridge design is the first to be used in Truckee, Landry said. A similar bridge was built by Contech on the Highlands Drive project at Northstar-at-Tahoe, Farren said.
“Ninety-nine percent of all my projects are environmentally-driven,” Farren said.
Landry said the town may opt for a similar bridge design in the future. If the balloon track is relocated, which Union Pacific Railroad uses to allow rail-clearing snowplows to turn around, there is a possibility of having two more creek crossings where construction of bridges would be required, he said.
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Trout Creek is a small tributary of the Truckee River north of Lake Tahoe that originates from Tahoe Donner on the eastern Sierra Nevada, flowing southeast for approximately 5.5 miles, through downtown Truckee and then…