The final stage of the Sage Creek highway and bridge replacement project is continuing west of Lovell as a crew from contractor S&S Builders works to prepare the middle two lanes of the Shoshone River Bridge for an anticipated concrete pour in September.
Wyoming Dept. of Transportation resident engineer Mike Miller said Tuesday that the goal is to have the bridge deck poured in September, though when the construction crew removed the deck of the older, middle two lanes, they found some rusted girders that will need to be reinforced with steel plates, a process that could set the timeline back a bit.
“We’re still trying to get it paved in September,” Miller said.
The contractor also must finish the demolition of the 82-year-old railroad bridge between the Oasis Junction and Cowley, which hasn’t been in use for several months since the new bridges over the railroad tracks and Sage Creek were completed. Slope paving around the bridge abutments will follow the demolition, Miller said.
The Shoshone River Bridge was constructed in the mid-1960s, project engineer Kelly Erickson said, and as part of the highway widening west of Lovell, the bridge is expanding from two lanes to four. The new outer lanes were finished in mid-summer, and work on the two older, inner lanes began in early August with the removal of the decking.
The S&S Builders crew is now constructing forms on the bottom of the deck for the later concrete pour on the nearly 300-foot bridge.
“It’s like taking a bridge and home-improving it,” Erickson said. “This kind of project takes time because we’re trying to retrofit new components to the old bridge.
“It’s like a remodel instead of a new house.”
After the decking forms are in place, the contractor will tie the rebar to strengthen the deck, Erickson said, followed by the concrete pour.
The project is scheduled to be completed by October 31.
By David Peck