Elm Street bridge opening still on track
Some unexpected hiccups have altered plans on the Elm Street bridge project and completion of a footbridge connecting Northeast Court Street to the local bike path.
However, those hoping to see Elm Street reopen by the end of the month should likely see that hope fulfilled.
"We are about a week to a week and a half behind our original schedule," said City of Prineville Street Supervisor Scott Smith. "There was a delay in (delivery of) the bridge beams."
Those beams were installed on Sept. 11 and, at the time, the expectation was the bridge would still be completed by the end of October and reopened. Nearly one month later, that completion date has gone unchanged.
The Elm Street bridge had been the only remaining wood-pile-built bridge remaining in Prineville. Built in 1946, its supports were rotting and the wooden sidewalk alongside the road was in such a state of disrepair, the City of Prineville had closed it years ago to public foot traffic.
Removal of the old bridge began during the first week of July, closing that portion of road until a new bridge is complete. The new structure is designed to closely match the Main Street bridge over Ochoco Creek and the Highway 126 bridge over Crooked River in appearance and quality. Smith noted that it will feature new sidewalks, similar lighting and colored pavement.
Additional plans during the bridge replacement process include the installation of a water line that will cross Ochoco Creek underneath the new Elm Street bridge. Also, new ADA-compliant accesses will be built for the Hotshots firefighter memorial and the war memorial that grace Ochoco Creek Park near Elm Street.
While plans for the Elm Street bridge appear on track for the original completion and reopening date, the same cannot be said for a pedestrian bridge over Ochoco Creek that was included in the project.
"The pedestrian bridge has been delayed significantly," Smith said. "There were some issues going back and forth from the bridge manufacturer and Anderson Perry – our engineering firm – getting approval."
The steel bridge will be prefabricated and then get delivered to Prineville in one piece and installed. The bridge will rest on decking that will be built in advance of the bridge's arrival.
"The contractor is pushing and doing everything he can to have that delivered the third week of November," Smith said.
Meanwhile, work on the Elm Street bridge continues. The concrete contractor is scheduled to show up on Oct. 20 to complete all of the sidewalk and curbing associated with the project as well as new access into the firefighter and war memorials.
"We are happy and we are on budget," Smith concluded.
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