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Contact: Charles Beall, 360 854-7302
On April 14, a new bridge was installed on Cascade River Road to provide summer access to Cascade Pass. North Cascades National Park maintenance crews, with the assistance of two local construction companies, successfully installed a new bridge on the Cascade River Road over the North Fork of the Cascade River.
The construction of the new bridge was a challenge due to the remote location and narrowness of the road. It was not possible to navigate the two 85-foot sections of the bridge which were manufactured by Big R Manufacturing of Greeley, Colorado via truck and trailer around the tight corners. Approximately one month ago, park maintenance crews and Donald K. Moore Construction of Rockport, Washington took advantage of the winter’s lingering snow and dragged the two sections over the ice to the bridge’s new location. Last week, Sicklesteel Cranes, Inc. of Mount Vernon, Washington maneuvered a 180-ton crane up the road to set the two sections into place.
"Thanks to the leadership of the Washington congressional delegation, particularly Congressmen Rick Larsen and Norm Dicks and Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, we have funding to fix this road and maintain summer access to the park’s most popular trailhead," said Chip Jenkins, Superintendent of North Cascades National Park Complex.
Fall 2006 storms caused extensive damage to the Cascade River Road. Emergency repairs provided temporary passage through the damage in 2007 and 2008. Long-term repairs began last fall as park maintenance crews and heavy equipment operators from Donald K. Moore Construction built new bridge abutments and footings. After last week’s successful placement of the new bridge, park maintenance crews will continue the installation process by bolting sections together, welding the bridge to the footings, and building approaches.
The North Fork Bridge was placed ahead of schedule, and will now enable repairs to be completed further up the Cascade River Road where it crosses Boston Creek in order to have the road ready for its traditional opening to the Cascade Pass Trailhead the Fourth of July weekend.
Digital images of the fall 2006 storm damage and the dragging and installation of the new North Fork Bridge are available for download and use at http://www.flickr.com/northcascadesnationalpark/sets.