Crews successfully slide new I-84 bridge into place

demolition of the blacks creek bridge begins

Normally, bridges moving is not something an engineer wants to see, but this weekend construction crews slid the first of two new bridges at the Interstate 84 Blacks Creek Interchange sixty feet into place — where it will stay for decades to come.

The slide-in-place maneuver was designed to minimize impacts to the heavily traveled Interstate. Crews construct the bulk of the new bridge right next to the existing structure. When ready, the old bridge is demolished and the replacement structure is slid into place.

“The driving force behind choosing a lateral bridge slide method was our focus on the people we serve and their ability to get where they need to go.” said Patrick Kelly, the ITD project manager overseeing the work. “We were able to keep lanes open during the entire bridge construction process. Once it was ready, we closed the eastbound lanes, demolished the old structure, pushed the new bridge into place, and are wrapping up construction on the adjacent roadway. In the end, we will have closed interstate lanes of traffic for weeks rather than months.”

The whole process, from demolition to reopening traffic, will take two to three weeks. Normal bridge replacements can take several months. With the new bridge in place, crews have just a few final items to complete, including work at the bridge abutments and repaving approaches.

To get the bridge from temporary footings to its permanent home, crews lay down Teflon pads and cover them with dish soap. Then, heavy machinery pushes and pulls the structure into place. It’s a surprisingly effective way to reduce friction and easily move the massive structure.

“Seeing how smoothly the bridge slid into place was very satisfying.” said Kelly. “It has been months of planning, preparation, and a lot of hard work to get to this point. The crews from Knife River have done a wonderful job and should be very proud of the work they’ve done.”

This method has been used before in the Gem State when, in 2014, the Lardo Bridge on ID-55 in McCall was replaced. There, as it is at Blacks Creek, the highway is an essential connection and lengthy disruptions are very impactful.

The second bridge for the westbound lanes has been constructed next to the old structure. Crews are currently finishing up the eastbound side of the interchange, including work on ramps and Blacks Creek Road. They will be ready to slide the westbound bridge into place in early August using the same method.

For more information about the project, visit ITDprojects.org/i-84-blacks-creek-interchange/.

Drivers can expect increased traffic delays during Salmon Falls Creek Bridge work on US-30

Next Wednesday and Thursday (Oct. 30 & 31) the Idaho Transportation Department is planning to place a bridge deck on the newly constructed Salmon Falls Creek Bridge near Banbury Hot Springs in Twin Falls County.

“While the deck is being placed, motorists will encounter longer than normal delays,” says ITD Project Manager Kenny Lively. “Although most construction delays have been minimal, this upcoming work could result in wait times upwards of 30-40 minutes. As such, we are recommending motorists utilize an alternate route during these days.”

Weather permitting, placement of the deck is expected to take place between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. each day. In the mornings and evenings, when work is not underway, the area will be open to single lane traffic with a temporary traffic signal in place.

This is part of a larger bridge replacement project that has been underway since June of this year. When completed, the new structure will be both wider and longer – accommodating two 12-foot lanes in each direction, and incorporating a new left-turn lane as well.

Construction on the project is expected to be complete by early summer of next year.

The general contractor is RSCI from Boise.

TRAFFIC ADVISORY: Lane reductions anticipated next week on the Perrine Bridge

Lane reductions are anticipated next week on the Perrine Bridge as the Idaho Transportation Department moves heavy equipment from one end of the structure to the other. Weather permitting, work is expected to begin Tuesday morning (Sept. 24) at approximately 8:15 a.m.

Crews will first work on the northbound lanes before moving to the southbound lanes. Closures of the right lane will alternate between north and southbound traffic as crews perform work in relation to that direction.

Motorists are encouraged to check 511.idaho.gov for current updates on road conditions and restrictions.

Additional traffic advisories regarding the bridge will be disseminated when impacts are expected.

Perrine Bridge inspection to take place next week near Twin Falls

From Monday, July 29 through Friday, August 2 crews will walk the arch of the Perrine Bridge as part of a routine inspection. An unmanned aerial vehicle (commonly known as a drone or UAV) will also be deployed to examine the structure.

This will be the first time the Idaho Transportation Department has employed a drone for this type of bridge inspection. Close monitoring will be done throughout the process to determine whether efficiencies can be gained through UAV use which could benefit further bridge assessments throughout the state.

Base jumping may be subject to short restrictions during portions of the examination. ITD will provide personnel stationed on the bridge to coordinate with inspection crews and jumpers during regulated periods.

Weather permitting, inspection will occur from approximately 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.

Photos from this and other bridge inspections will be shared on ITD’s social media platforms:

– Instagram: @Idaho_Transportation_Dept
– Facebook: @IdahoTransportationDepartment
– Twitter: @IdahoITD

Replacement of Salmon Falls Creek Bridge on US-30 to begin June 10

Work is expected to begin Monday, June 10 on Salmon Falls Creek Bridge near Banbury Hot Springs in Twin Falls County. During construction, ITD will replace the US-30 bridge structure, rebuild approaches, and replace associated guardrail. Construction on the project is expected to be complete by next spring.

The current bridge has exceeded its life expectancy. The new structure will be both wider and longer – accommodating two 12-foot lanes in each direction. A left-turn lane will also be added as part of this project.

Traffic on this section of US-30 will be reduced to one lane through the work zone with a temporary traffic signal in place. Motorists may encounter minor delays and are cautioned to watch for crews during working hours – Monday through Friday, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The general contractor is RSCI from Boise.

Traffic reduced over Snake River Bridge in Marsing

A crane looms over a bridge

The Snake River Bridge will be reduced to one lane beginning Tuesday, April 9 in preparation for rebuilding the bridge.

What to expect at the Snake River Bridge:

  • Temporary traffic signals will be placed on both sides of the bridge to direct traffic.
  • Motorists should expect delays of up to 15 minutes.
  • The speed limit on the bridge will be reduced from 35 mph. to 25 mph.

The lane and the speed reductions on the Snake River Bridge will remain in effect until the bridge rebuild is complete. ITD will begin reconstructing the north side of ID-55 on April 9. Traffic will be switched to the south side of ID-55 in downtown Marsing while crews begin to reconstruct the north side of ID-55.

What to expect on ID-55:

  • Work will occur between 4th Avenue and Riverfront.
  • Work will occur during daytime hours.
  • Temporary traffic signals will direct traffic. Expect delays of up to 15 minutes.
  • Driveway access will remain open with brief delays.

Pedestrians are encouraged to use the south side of ID-55.

Replacement of North Side Canal Bridge deck on I-84 to occur in Jerome County

The Idaho Transportation Department will begin work Monday (April 8) on replacement of an eastbound bridge deck spanning the North Side Canal on Interstate 84 south of Hazelton (MP 194).

Eastbound and westbound traffic on this portion of I-84 will be reduced to one lane throughout the work zone. The eastbound interstate on-ramp at Exit 194 will also be closed for the duration of this project.

Drivers should expect reduced speeds throughout the work zone and watch for crews during working hours – Monday through Saturday, 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. Work is expected to be completed in June.

The contractor on this project is Knife River of Boise.

Bridge replacements on US-20 in Camas and Blaine counties to begin next week

The Idaho Transportation Department will begin work April 1, 2019 on two bridge construction projects along US-20. The new crossings will be located over Willow Creek in Camas County (MP 164) and Rock Creek in Blaine County (MP 173).

During construction, ITD will remove aging culverts and surrounding earthwork at both locations, and construct new crossings over the waterways.

“Due to age and corrosion of the pipelines, both culverts are in need of replacement,” said ITD Project Manager Brock Dillé. “We analyzed multiple options regarding these crossings before determining that bridge designs would have the best long term value for both Willow Creek and Rock Creek.”

The structure spanning Willow Creek will be a 170-foot steel girder bridge while the structure spanning Rock Creek will be a 159-foot concrete girder bridge. As an added result of the forthcoming bridge structures, ITD will also be able to restore the streams to a more natural condition, which in turn should have a positive effect on the surrounding ecosystem.

Construction on the crossings will occur simultaneously. Each work zone is anticipated to encompass one mile with approximately seven miles between each site.

Click here for a map of the region.

Traffic will be reduced to one lane in the construction zone with width restrictions anticipated. Temporary traffic lights will be in place throughout the duration of the project and reduced speed limits will also be in effect.

ITD and the Idaho State Police advise motorists to slow down and pay attention when driving in work zones, where increased speeding fines and other penalties apply. Motorists are encouraged to plan ahead and dial 5-1-1 or visit 511.idaho.gov fo r information on the state highway or interstate system.

Work is expected to last through December.

Knife River is the contractor for both projects.

District and HQ collaborate to expedite I-84 bridge repair

Earlier last week, crews in District 4 worked with the Headquarters Bridge section to repair damaged bridge joints on Interstate 84 near Glenns Ferry. It was most likely damaged due to the lower position of that joint compared to the rest of bridge deck and the resulting impact and vibration of passing vehicles. You can hear it on this video.

During a routine inspection, HQ Bridge Inspector Toby Griffin found that a portion of the bridge joint was missing, and another section was broken and loose.

“I was in the area doing a routine inspection of railroad structures below when I heard loud clanking sounds coming from the bridge deck above,” said Griffin. “This was not normal, so I investigated further and discovered the broken joint.”

Toby texted a photo of the damage to his supervisor, Dan Gorley, who quickly reached out to D4 Maintenance Coordinator Shawn Webb.

After discussing the situation, it was determined that a lane closure would ensure the safety of motorists driving westbound on the interstate. Despite it being after normal working hours, crews were onsite and implementing traffic control within the hour, while district and headquarter personnel worked into the evening to develop an emergency repair plan.

The following morning, crews were dispatched to the bridge deck to begin work. Repairs included removal of broken bolts, rethreading of damaged base plates, and welding and re-installment of the broken finger joint section.

“This was a great example of ITD personnel working together in an efficient and collaborative effort to ensure successful execution of one of the department’s key mission points – safety,” said Webb. “Four separate crews came together quickly to work as one to find a viable solution that allowed us to reopen the roadway within 24 hours of the initial discovery.”

The Bliss Foreman area crew, the D4 Bridge crew, the D4 Welder/Machinist, and personnel from HQ’s Bridge Inspection crew all participated in repair efforts of the broken bridge joint.

Planning is underway for development of a strategy to address the joints located on the westbound and eastbound bridges at this location. Webb stated that “the goal is to have a more permanent solution regarding this issue in the near future.”

Emerald Street Connector Overpass opens Saturday

Crews wrap up the repavement of the Emerald St. overpass along I-184

BOISE – Bridge preservation work on the Emerald Street overpass of I-184 (the Connector) between Cole Road and Curtis Road, is complete. The bridge reopens to all traffic beginning Saturday morning (May 19).

Preservation work on additional Treasure Valley bridges will continue this summer at the following locations:

  • I-84, Meridian Road Interchange
  • I-84, Broadway Avenue Interchange
  • I-84, Cole-Overland Interchange
  • I-84, Gowen Road Interchange
  • Broadway Avenue, Boise River Bridge

Unlike at Emerald, remaining work will not require full closures and most work will be completed at night. Motorists can expect lane reductions and reduced speeds.

“Bridge preservation work is intended to strengthen the bridge surfaces and extend the life of the pavement, reducing the need for additional maintenance at a later date,” said Crystal Grasmick, ITD Project Manager. “We appreciate the traveling public’s patience as we work through these important improvements.”

Cannon Builders, Inc. is the contractor on this $2.7 million project. For up-to-date traffic impact information, visit 511.idaho.gov.