The 1,722 foot long Galena Creek Bridge, part of the I-580 extension between Reno and Carson City, was named 2013 Project of the Year by ENR Southwest.  The bridge spans a sensitive creek environment and is situated in an area prone to high winds – two factors that posed significant design and construction challenges.

Project general contractor Fisher Industries of Phoenix proposed a brilliant solution to address both concerns: construct a temporary 35 foot span by 400 foot long arched concrete bridge over the creek, then place 140 feet of fill above to create a flat working surface on which to construct the shoring and formwork for the bridge.  Dave Rowe, PE, SE, structural engineer and principal with Wright Engineers, designed the temporary bridge taking into consideration the interaction of the soil with the arch structure as well as the immense weight of fill above.  Sadly (for us, anyway) once the main bridge construction was complete, the fill and temporary bridge were removed.

The accompanying photo by CC Myers, Inc, Fisher’s bridge subcontractor, shows the temporary tunnel and fill beneath the nearly completed bridge.