GRANGEVILLE -- Work continuation is pending this week on the Butcher Creek Bridge replacement project outside Grangeville, delayed due to a construction issue.
Motorists can continue to expect delays – between six to 15 minutes -- and one lane of signal-controlled traffic on State Highway 13, approximately three miles east of town, at least through October.
“It is an absolute priority to complete this bridge before winter,” said Idaho Transportation Department spokesperson Megan Sausser. “While construction is behind schedule, we are projecting completion around early November.”
The Butcher Creek Bridge is one of several replacement projects under way in ITD’s region two. The bridge was constructed in 1932, a box culvert designed to manage stormwater while allowing traffic to pass over it. Replacement was warranted due to normal age deterioration of the box and bridge deck.
According to Sausser, construction was impacted in early August when bridge girders were installed and they did not sit flat on the abutment. At this point, it is undetermined whether this was a design or construction issue.
“While the contractor worked with the bridge engineers on a solution,” Sausser said, “there was a pause in on-the-ground replacement efforts.” Crews continued to monitor the area; however, the majority of work was delayed as the issue was resolved.
Steel plates are currently being manufactured, and on completion they will be placed on the abutment, allowing the girders to be reinstalled. At this point, the contractors will grade the gravel surface, shift traffic to the other side and continue the project.
ITD recognizes the delays are frustrating for drivers; however, they ask for their patience, and waiting their turn, at the automated signal lights on either side of the work.
“Drivers who jump the signal by going when it isn’t their turn ultimately increase the delays for other drivers as the technology catches up,” Sausser said.
T. LaRiviere Equipment and Excavation is the primary contractor for construction, and HW Lochner is the bridge designer.