Update: Repairs on the Pat O' Hara Creek bridge have progressed to the point where the 13-ton weight limit has ended for vehicles driving over the bridge.
A second day of repairs is continuing on the Pat O’ Hara Creek bridge on the Chief Joseph Scenic Highway.
The bridge is just after the WYO 120 turn-off, at the beginning of WYO 296.
Extreme erosion, caused by a large rain event on May 26, washed the rock riprap away from the bridge piers. The erosion forced the Wyoming Department of Transportation to load-limit the bridge at 13 tons until repairs could be completed.
WYDOT officials developed a plan late last week, and after consultation with bridge engineers, workers launched repairs Monday underneath the bridge at the southeast end of the highway.
“Our guys are making excellent progress on these repairs. We have replaced rock riprap lost during the extreme erosion event, and currently, we are reinforcing the H-pile bridge piers by welding large angle iron to the piers,” said WYDOT district maintenance engineer Lyle Lamb of Basin. “We’re hoping to complete the repairs this week and remove the 13-ton weight limit.”
Lamb said the repairs, when complete, should keep the highway open to bigger trucks and tour buses until a more-permanent repair project happens in the future.
“We’re estimating a more-permanent fix of the bridge may cost $300,000 or more,” he said.
The Pat O’ Hara Creek bridge was built in the 1960s.
WYO 296 remains open.
WYDOT geologists were working in the Cody area through Tuesday morning, assessing bridges, rockfall sites and other areas near Cody impacted by last week’s rains, mud slides and rock slides.