By Steve Hansen
QCS Managing Editor
A new bridge over the Canadian River on U.S. 54 south of Logan will be built in 2017 and 2018 about 100 feet east of the existing structure, according to New Mexico Department of Transportation officials.
Cost of the bridge will be about $20 million in federal highway construction funds that are part of a regular allocation that NMDOT receives every year from the U.S. Department of Transportation, according to Heather Sandoval, assistant district engineer for NMDOT District 4.
The decision to locate the new bridge alongside the existing bridge was announced at a public meeting in Logan on Dec. 10, Sandoval said. The chosen location was among five alternative sites that NMDOT officials evaluated and was chosen as the most cost-effective and most beneficial to businesses. Other alternatives would have included changing U.S. 54’s routing through Logan.
The new bridge will span about 700 feet over the Canadian River gorge below the Ute Reservoir dam, Sandoval said, and is likely rise eight to 10 feet higher than the existing structure. Construction of the new bridge will be “cast-in-place, segmented concrete,” Sandoval said.
Construction will begin with piers rising from the gorge. The horizontal spans will then be built as overhanging segments from the piers, using concrete forms that will travel as the span construction progresses, according to NMDOT presentation materials.
The current bridge was built in 1954. Rehabilitation was performed on the bridge in 1984, according to the NMDOT’s alignment study description on www.us54canadianriver.com.
There are still two more phases to be completed in the planning of the highway alignment and bridge project, an environmental documentation and processing phase and preliminary design, according to the website.