Building a Bridge

Improving road/stream crossings on the Two Hearted River

CCI Road where it crosses the South Branch of the Two Hearted River prior to the start of bridge construction. The puddle is the lowest point in the road where water flows over the road in high flows.

The three outdated and inefficient culverts benefited neither people nor fish. Two of the culverts are submerged and at 100% capacity with the middle one creating a “sucking vortex”.

View of the old road/stream crossing from location of the new bridge before construction. During high water times, such as spring runoff, excess water flowed over the road, washing debris and sediment into the river.

Workers install cofferdam sheet piling so the abutments, or bridge supports that resist the pressure of water, can be cast. A cofferdam is a watertight enclosure built underwater and pumped dry for construction.

View of the cofferdam made from sheet piling before construction of the bridge. To the right lies the new east approach of the CCI Road to the South Branch of the Two Hearted River.

The crane swings decking within reach of workers to place on the new 45’ steel I-beam bridge. The bridge allows for 244 sq. ft. of passage, compared to the less than 34 sq. ft. the undersized culverts allowed.

Workers lay decking on the steel I-beams. The new bridge enhances connectivity for nature and people by improving fish migration and natural river flow, vehicle access and safety, and water quality.

With the decking completed on the new 45-foot steel bridge, workers from JE Kloote Contracting Inc. put the finishing touches on the grading of the east approach of the CCI Road.

The crew puts the guardrails on the bridge after removing the culverts and old road. The dirt-covered areas will be restored with native seeds and plant seedlings.

Large stumps and rocks were placed along the new road to keep vehicles out of the old approach to the river. Black silt fencing in the background keeps the soil from getting into the river.

The new bridge will reduce sedimentation from the road by 9.8 tons per year, open up 24 miles of stream to aquatic organisms, and allow for natural river flow velocities, while accommodating safe vehicle travel, including the support of logging trucks harvesting sustainably in the Two Hearted River Forest Reserve.


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