PARISH — An old bridge in Parish crossing the north branch of the Little Salmon River at County Route 38, about 350 feet north of the intersection with State Route 69, will be torn down this coming spring, and a new one will be built in its place by fall, County Highway Engineer Chris Baldwin said.
The existing bridge is over 100 years old. Built in 1910, no major rehabilitation has been performed on it since 1970. According to Baldwin, not only have the river’s banks at the site of the bridge eroded over the past 50 years, the bridge itself has deteriorated.
“The bridge itself is in bad shape,” he said. “It’s safe now, but it needs to be replaced.”
That will happen in one of two, as yet undecided, ways, Baldwin said. Either the new bridge will be completely built right on site, or precast concrete will be transported to the site and then installed there. The utilization of precast concrete would allow the production of the structure off-site in a controlled environment. The site work would then be coordinated with the completion of the precast components to minimize the road closure and impacts to the public.
The designers and engineers are still considering the options, Baldwin said.
One thing’s for sure. Either way, the public will have to detour around the site for, most likely, the entire summer of 2021. Local traffic will use an off-site detour utilizing Mill Street and the Mill Street bridge. A truck detour of State Route 69, Interstate 81, and State Route 104 will also be used. Access will be maintained for the property adjacent to the bridge.
Some temporary easements of area residents’ land may be required so crews can get into the bridge area and work.
Precast concrete wingwalls will be installed to protect the bridge as well as the adjacent properties and roadway.
“There’s a driveway right next to the bank of the stream,” Baldwin said. “A wingwall will hold it so the driveway doesn’t collapse into the stream. Abutments hold the bridge. Wingwalls hold back the dirt around the bridge.”
The cost to replace this bridge is as yet unknown, according to Baldwin.
“We’ll have an engineer’s estimate later on in the project,” he said.
Project display boards are available for viewing at the village of Parish office during normal business hours.