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Harris Bridge Road closes due to culvert problems

Apr 22, 2012 - By Martin Reed, Staff Writer

Fremont County transportation department superintendent Dave Pendleton reported last week the closure of Harris Bridge Road in the Pavillion area due to a failed culvert.

Pendleton told county commissioners on April 17 that constant water flow in a nearby creek pushed debris including driftwood and other materials.

The "debris backed up" a couple of feet around the culvert, he said. "Pretty soon the road sank and it just got wider and wider."

He said the stretch of Harris Bridge Road connects Powerline and Indian Ridge roads.

When asked by commission chairman Doug Thompson if he has culverts to repair the issue, Pendleton said he a 9-foot diameter pipe.

"We'll have to take a look at that and see what kind of volumes we have going through there," Pendleton said about the possible fix.

Travelers in the area will need to take a roughly five-mile detour due to the closure, he added. "It's inconvenient," he told commissioners, adding the closure affects roughly 50 people in the area.

Commissioners indicated their support to fix the problem.

"Rather than wash this thing out every decade or two, I would rather just fix it," commissioner Dennis Christensen said.

"We'll just have to take a look and see what we want to do with this and what the materials' availability are," Thompson said.

Commissioners expressed concerns about heavy truck traffic on other roads due to the detour. "Are those other roads able to handle those heavy machines?" commissioner Travis Becker asked.

"Yes, it's just an inconvenience," Pendleton responded.

Although some commissioners talked about the possibility of installing a bridge to remedy the problem, Pendleton said the endeavor would be costly.

He estimated the project would require a 50- to 60-foot structure and cost upwards of several hundreds of thousands of dollars.

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