Repairs are nearly complete on the Pat O’Hara Creek bridge on the Chief Joseph Scenic Highway after heavy rain in late May caused extreme erosion. It and the highway remain open for residents …
Repairs are nearly complete on the Pat O’Hara Creek bridge on the Chief Joseph Scenic Highway after heavy rain in late May caused extreme erosion. It and the highway remain open for residents and travelers.
The large rain event on May 26 washed the rock riprap away from the bridge piers of the Pat O’Hara Creek bridge. The erosion forced the Wyoming Department of Transportation to load-limit the bridge at 13 tons until repairs could be completed. The weight limit was removed from the repaired bridge at 4 p.m. Wednesday, WYDOT said in a news release.
The Pat O’Hara Creek bridge is located north of Cody, just hundreds of feet off Wyo. Highway 120, at the beginning of Chief Joseph Scenic Highway.
WYDOT officials developed a plan to repair the bridge late last week, and after consultation with bridge engineers, workers launched repairs Monday underneath the bridge at the southeast end of Chief Joseph highway.
“Our guys are making excellent progress on these repairs,” said WYDOT district maintenance engineer Lyle Lamb of Basin.
He said they’ve replaced the lost riprap and are reinforcing the H-pile bridge piers by welding large angle iron to the piers.
Repairs will continue through Friday and when complete should keep the highway open to bigger trucks and tour buses until a more-permanent repair project happens in the future, he said.
“We’re estimating a more-permanent fix of the bridge may cost $300,000 or more,” Lamb said.
The Pat O’Hara Creek bridge was built in the 1960s.
WYDOT geologists were working in the Cody area this week, assessing bridges, rockfall sites and other areas near Cody impacted by last week’s rains, mud slides and rock slides.