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Reynolds Creek Crossing

Tuolomne, California

Stream Crossing

Technical Description:

• CON/SPAN® i-Series™ Bridge System
• Span: 14’
• Rise: 7'
• Length: 36'

The USDA Forest Service (USDA) had a twin culvert that was undersized for Reynolds Creek's water flow and due to recent heavy storms, there were scour issues as well. In fact, about every 5-10 years for the past 25 years, the culvert was washed out and required repairs.  The bid for the project included a very aggressive construction schedule so the replacement option could be installed before the winter rains started. 

Located in a remote area, Primary Forest Route 31 (3N01) was used mainly as a fire access service road to combat any forest fires in the area. In addition to the 100-year storm hydraulic requirements and tight construction schedule, it was also imperative the solution would be able to be delivered to the remote location. In preparation for delivery, the trucking company made several preliminary trips to the site, identifying difficult turns that needed to be improved before installation. 

"Lastly, the bed load of this drainage area was also of concern because it would consistently transport 6-10" material, and the bedrock could be located in many places along the stream profile section," added Tim Merten, Design Engineer with the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit of USDA.

14’ x 7’ CON/SPAN® i-Series™ Bridge System, 36' in length, with two precast headwalls and four precast wingwalls was selected for its ability to meet both of the requirements. Since this structural option included an integral foundation system, it eliminated the need for large, costly footings. 

Fish passage was also an important consideration, and this challenge was met by the i-Series' invert technology which promotes sedimentation of natural stream bed material. This creates a natural bottom, open to the hyporheic zone below.  The engineered bottom enhances the stream biology and ecology as well as provides areas of low velocity to allow for fish passage through the culvert. 

"The CON/SPAN i-Series Bridge System met the constrained timeline for replacement and was an economical solution due to the remote location of our project," concluded Merten. "The precast elements were delivered and assembled with minimal disruption to the traveling public. Overall, the product has improved the hydraulic capacity, aquatic habitat connectivity, and stream health.”

Technical Description:

• CON/SPAN® i-Series™ Bridge System
• Span: 14’
• Rise: 7'
• Length: 36'

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