Hurdygurdy Creek Bridge Replacement
Del Norte County Public Works Department selected Ghirardelli Associates to provide construction management and inspection services for the replacement of the Big Flat Bridge over Hurdygurdy Creek project, located in a remote part of Del Norte County in Northern California. The project location is approximately 20 upriver from on the south fork of the Smith River, on a dirt road providing recreational access to Six Rivers National Forest and serving as an emergency exit to local residents living in an area prone to road closures due to rockslides and slip outs, and potential forest fires. The existing bridge was a metal truss bridge with shallow, scour critical footings, leading to its necessary replacement.
Ghirardelli staff worked with the county and the successful construction contractor, Steelhead Constructors, to install a temporary summertime bridge, remove the existing bridge and reconstruct the new bridge within one construction season. This task was made difficult by a determination from the design team that the northern abutment was not suitable as planned, requiring a re-design to the abutment. This re-design resulted in a revised detour plan, and construction method to complete construction of the bridge prior to the winter season. With the assistance of the California Dept. of Fish and Wildlife, Six Rivers National Forest, North Coast Regional Water Quality Board staff and the Federal agencies, we devised a new construction sequence that allowed the bridge to be completed within the original construction season, overcoming over a month of delays associated with the design change.
The completed project includes a two-lane bridge with paved approaches on both ends and a concrete railing with a rock finish. The bridge will serve recreational tourists and the local community as a reliable and viable emergency escape route well into the future.