Friday, November 11, 2011

Utah's Bridges: Hite Crossing Bridge over the Colorado River (2)

May 2006 (37.890 Degrees, -110.369 Degrees) Hite Crossing Bridge
A photo from the deck of the Hite Bridge over the Colorado River. For some reason, the railing stops on each side of the arch, leaving it vulnerable to errant vehicles. Did the engineer expect the arch to the job of a barrier rail?  I guess it's a good thing the bridge only carries a few hundred vehicles a day. Still, if I owned this bridge, I'd do a better job of protecting the arch.

According to the Utah DOT website, the three I-95 bridges crossing canyons in this area were cheaper than I first reported. According to the website, the Dirty Devil River Bridge cost $730,515.88, the Colorado River Bridge (that we are currently studying) only cost $993,243.70 (not $3 million which was said to be the bid estimate), and the White Canyon Wash Bridge (that we'll visit next) cost $178,327.68.

The first bridge we looked at in Utah was over the Green River, which is the chief tributary of the Colorado at Canyonlands National Park 20 miles to the north. The previous bridge we studied, the Dirty Devil empties into the Colorado a few miles downstream, at the beginning of Lake Powell. The Colorado River is the major river basin of the Southwest, beginning at 10,000 ft in the Rocky Mountains, flowing southwest into the Gulf of California, and carving some of the most spectacular canyons on the planet.

The most famous bridge over the Colorado currently is the Hoover Bypass Dam Bridge, which opened in October 2010. There was a lot of celebration about this deck arch bridge that was built to take vehicle traffic (and potential terrorists) away from a vulnerable structure. I guess I could try to photograph all of the Colorado River Crossings, but that would be quite a bit of work. There are several pedestrian bridges in the middle of the Grand Canyon and I'm not sure how many bridges are in Colorado. Still, I bet there are less than a dozen bridges that cross over the Colorado River.
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Utah's Bridges: Hite Crossing Bridge over the Colorado River (2) by Mark Yashinsky is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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