Belknap Bridge may close for six month restoration
November 17, 2014
RAINBOW: Local drivers will need to change their normal routes next year due to restoration work scheduled for the Belknap Covered Bridåçge. Theå Lane County Board of Commissioners was scheduled to approve a work schedule this week calling for preservation work to occur from April through September of 2015.
According to Lane County Public Works, the proposed closure is in the public interest so that the bridge rehabilitation work can be done safely and more efficiently.
Detoured traffic will need to travel westerly on west King Road to Cougar Dam Road, then north to Hwy. 126 and northeast to access McKenzie River Drive. The out of direction travel measures 4.29 miles.
According to Nick Robertson of OBEC Engineering, the rehabilitation work will include replacing some metal hanger rods inside the bridge, three panel plates and a section of the bottom chord on the downstream side of the structure. The siding on the bridge will also be replaced, along with some of the decayed decking. The work schedule will allow construction crews to access the area during a time frame when work over Oregon’s waterways is allowed.
The existing bridge is posted at 11 tons. Heavy trucks aren’t allowed to use the crossing due to the load limit so the closure will have little impact on truck traffic.
Four different covered bridges have spanned the McKenzie River at this location since 1890. Replacements occurred in 1911, 1939 and 1966. The existing bridge is 120 feet long and was originally designed to carry loads up to 35 tons.
McKenzie River Reflections