Blowouts and bridges for county crews

County works on FSR 261 and Flying Diamond bridge


Erik Gantt

Bill Nation, Carbon County Road and Bridge Superintendent, fells a cottonwood tree along the Encampment river that was threatening the Flying Diamond bridge on CR 680.

On Oct. 26 and 27 Carbon County Road and Bridge crews made repairs to Forest Service Road 261 (FSR 261) also known as the Cedar Pass road. During the rest of the week they removed trees around the Flying Diamond bridge on Carbon County Road 680, the Baggot Rocks road.

Bill Nation, Carbon County Road and Bridge Superintendent, said the work on FSR 261 appeared to be successful, but, "Mother nature will be the decider on that."

Nation said his crew cut 35 to 40 feet into the uphill side of the road to create an entirely new road surface for vehicle travel. In the area that had previously slumped Nation said they created more support with poles, a lattice work of pine trees and tamped clay sediment.

Most importantly Nation was able to identify the spring or seep that produces the water that caused the road to slump. Nation said they excavated an area for water to collect on the uphill side of FSR 261 and channeled that to a culvert.

On the Encampment River between Riverside and Saratoga, trees with problematic rotting were removed to save the Flying Diamond bridge from damage.

A large number of cottonwoods along the river bank were rotting in their stumps and would naturally fall on the bridge. Nation said the county was only going to remove the trees that were rotten and leave those that are standing straight or too far away to threaten the bridge. Chainsaws and an excavator were used to fell and remove the trees.

The Flying Diamond bridge was built at its current location in the 1930s, at approximately the same time as the old Pick bridge. The old Pick bridge, which is now on Carbon County Road 508, was originally located at Fort Steele. The Flying Diamond bridge is a riveted iron two-span truss model with a wood and earth deck.

Nation said the bridge should be in service for a long time if the current weight limits are observed. Heavy loads can get to the west side of the Baggot Rocks road via State Highway 230 and Carbon County Road 201N.

"[The Flying Diamond bridge] serves the purpose under the weight limits that are there and there is a go around for real heavy stuff," Nation said.

Erik Gantt

Nation uses and excavator to push over some of the more rotten trees and one that hung after being taken down with a chainsaw.


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