Caltrans Not Shaken By July 6 Earthquake Damage

Contractor Begins Work on Nevada’s Freeway Bridge

Mon March 05, 2007 - West Edition
CEG



RENO, Nev. (AP) A North Dakota contractor has started work on the stalled freeway extension between Reno and Carson City.

Tommy Fisher, president of Fisher Sand & Gravel Co., of Dickinson, N.D., said the firm is setting up offices, finishing paperwork and gathering heavy equipment.

“We’re just starting to get moved in here,” Fisher said. “By February, we should be rocking and rolling.”

The project is expected to be finished by 2011.

The company has a $393.3 million contract to finish the freeway that includes construction of the expansive Galena Creek Bridge in Pleasant Valley.

The project’s previous contractor, Wisconsin-based Edward Kraemer & Sons, stopped work on the bridge because of concerns that the 300-ft. high (91.4 m) structure could collapse due to high wind during a vulnerable point in its construction.

The Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) disputed those concerns, but canceled the state’s contract with Kraemer & Sons after paying the company approximately $50 million for work completed.

Representatives of Fisher’s bridge-building subcontractor, Rancho Cordova, Calif.-based C.C. Meyers Inc., said they plan to finish building the Galena Creek Bridge in a different manner than originally designed by the state.

While NDOT has yet to examine final designs for the altered bridge project, preliminary discussions have been held and no significant problems are apparent, said Rick Nelson, assistant NDOT director.

“It seems to me they have a very good game plan lined up,” Nelson said. “We are very excited to get the ball rolling again. It’s time to get back to business and get this project done.”

Initially, work will start where the new freeway connects with the Mount Rose Highway and will then push south. Two smaller bridges north of Galena Creek will be built first, and major work on the Galena Creek Bridge likely will recommence in July or August, Fisher said.

When finished, the Interstate 580 freeway extension will stretch 8.5 mi. (13.7 m) from the Mount Rose Highway south to connect to U.S. 395 in Washoe Valley. The six-lane road will provide the final freeway link between Reno and the state capital.