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Meacham Creek

La Grande, Oregon

Emergency Stream Crossing Replacements

Engineer:

HDR, Inc.

Installation:

May-June 2020

Technical Description:

• 14 ft x 200 ft Big R Bridge® Rolled Girder
• 14 ft x 40 ft Big R Bridge® Rolled Girder
• 14 ft x 220 ft Big R Bridge® Rolled Girder
• Finish: Weathered Steel
• Decking: Gravel on Structural Bridge Plank

When flooding occurred in February 2020 on Meacham Creek, a 37-mile tributary of the Umatilla River, three bridges were damaged along Union Pacific Railroad's (UPRR) remote service road. It was imperative that UPRR maintained access to the railroad system in order to complete routine service and updates, including railroad crossing bridges and culverts. UPRR also periodically checks the rails for fallen rock. For these reasons, time was of the essence to repair the service road and replace the bridges.

Due to the tight timeline to fabricate and ultimately install the bridges quickly once on site, it was decided that three Big R Bridge® Rolled Girders were the best solutions for all three project sites. Additionally, past history played a big role in the selection of modular steel bridges because in 1994, four Big R bridges were installed on the same stretch of service road. When one of those bridges sustained damage to the center concrete pier during a different flood event, repair work was completed successfully. All bridges furnished in 1994 are still in service today.

With such a narrow remote service road accessing the damaged bridge sites, it would not have been feasible to install concrete bridge structures, especially with such long lengths. The first site required a 14' wide x 200' long bridge, the second site required a 14' wide x 40' long bridge, and the third site required a 14' wide x 220' long bridge. After receiving the order on March 9, 2020, Contech Engineered Solutions fabricated and shipped the bridges by mid-May. The installation of all three bridges was completed by July 2.

With the bridges located in a canyon, accessing the sites and installing the bridges were challenging. Bob Hirte, Director-Hamilton Rail Division for Hamilton Construction Company explained, "We had to work our way into the canyon one bridge at a time in order to access each site. Coordination with shipping was a must, and Contech did a great job. One thing that stood out to me was that we did not need to ream a single bolt hole. That was impressive given all the variables that were thrown at us during this project."

In the end, the Big R bridges' lighter weight and quick installation provided a great solution for the site, and UPRR, HDR Inc. and Hamilton Construction Company were pleased with the outcome.

“Contech came through for us on an emergency flood repair job in a difficult to access area with no cell phone coverage and at the beginning stages of the COVID-19 shutdowns," concluded Hirte. "I don’t know of any other fabricators that could have responded as quickly as Contech did. I wouldn’t hesitate to call them again if we find ourselves in that situation again.”

Technical Description:

• 14 ft x 200 ft Big R Bridge® Rolled Girder
• 14 ft x 40 ft Big R Bridge® Rolled Girder
• 14 ft x 220 ft Big R Bridge® Rolled Girder
• Finish: Weathered Steel
• Decking: Gravel on Structural Bridge Plank

800-338-1122 | www.ContechES.com
Project #: 641428

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