Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Utah's Bridges: SR-87 Paria River Bridge in Kane County

May 2006 (37.108 Degrees, -111.908 Degrees) Paria River Bridge
State Route 89 Paria River Bridge is a five span, 361 ft long steel girder bridge on pier walls and seat type abutments. As of 1998 the bridge carried 1955 vehicles a day due to its role carrying visitors to the Grand Canyon.  This two lane bridge had a sufficiency rating of 73 in 1998 and would cost about $2 million to replace.

A five span river crossing that's just a couple of feet above the ground suggests that the river becomes very wide during floods. The bridge engineer was responsible for keeping the bridge deck above the 100 year flood, which in this case required a long, low bridge. However, for most of the year the Paria is just a tiny creek.

Much of the river is in a slotted canyon which makes it popular with hikers, climbers, and film directors. It's also historically significant with hundreds of prehistoric drawings, petroglyphs, settlements including Lee's Ferry (where people once crossed the Colorado River), and film sets. The river is also an important ecosystem and the home to many endangered species. Like every other river in the region, it's a tributary of the Colorado River. The Paria empties into the Colorado in Arizona just a little north of the Navajo Bridges.
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Utah's Bridges: SR-87 Paria River Bridge in Kane County by Mark Yashinsky is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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