ROCK SPRINGS – Residents might notice a smoother drive along N Street as they drive across the bridge near the Rock Springs Civic Center.
The bridge had potholes deep enough to expose rebar until city workers patched them Monday afternoon. This won’t be the only work seen at the bridge, as its deck will be reworked in a few years, according to the Wyoming Department of Transportation. While the surface is in poor condition, the bridge itself hasn’t degraded to a point where it should be closed.
“We would never put public traffic on a bridge we don’t feel is safe enough to travel on,” Stephanie Harsha, public relations specialist for WYDOT District 3, said.
WYDOT monitors the condition of bridges both within and outside its transportation network. It also assists counties and municipalities in replacing and repairing bridges through multiple funding programs. Harsha said the bridge is slated for a deck replacement in 2025, with the contract for that work to be let in December 2024, but questions remain as to what it will entail.
According to a report from Kimley-Horn and Associates, an engineering firm that reviewed the bridge for WYDOT, major structural deficiencies include exposed deck reinforcement, failure of expansion joints at both ends, and corrosion and spalling at the bearing seats. The report recommends either a complete replacement or replacing portions of the superstructure while leaving the substructure in place. The current estimated cost for the project is $2.7 million.
Brad McCullough, a resident engineer with WYDOT District 3, said the bridge needs a deck replacement and additional plans are in place to widen the surface and update the walkways to have better guard railing be compliant with modern ADA guidelines. However, they don’t know the condition beneath the deck, which may change the scope of the project from a deck replacement to a full bridge replacement. There was no question about the need to patch the bridge deck however.
“It’s been getting worse for the past few months,” McCullough said.