Muller Lane Bridge Over West Fork Carson River Slated For Replacement In 2018

Posted By on March 3, 2017

Staff Reports · 3 min read

MINDEN, Nev. — A pair of Carson Valley bridges will be replaced and/or upgraded in 2018, according to the Nevada Department of Transportation.

The Washington Post recently published an article outlining more than 130,000 structurally deficient or functionally obsolete bridges in the country.

There are 38 bridges in Douglas County. Two were classified as structurally deficient and five as functionally obsolete.

The remaining 31 are good, according to the Post article, which draws from the 2015 National Bridge Inventory (based on the most recent available data nationwide).

The Nevada Department of Transportation inspects all bridges in the state of Nevada, including city and county-maintained structures, every two years, according to NDOT spokesperson Meg Ragonese.

“Bridges with more extensive deterioration are inspected more often,” Ragonese said. “NDOT reports all bridge inspection data to the Federal Highway Administration at the end of every year.”

Ragonese said the five functionally obsolete bridges  in Carson Valley (four are located on different portions of Centerville Lane and the fifth is on Mottsville Lane over Brockliss Slough) were classified as such because the bridge decks are not as wide as current standards specify.

She added that functionally obsolete bridges are not structurally unsafe.

“Often, functionally obsolete bridges do not have adequate lane widths, shoulder widths or vertical clearances to meet standards for current traffic,” Ragonese said.

One of those bridges, the bridge over the Rocky Slough on Centerville between downtown Gardnerville and the Gardnerville Ranchos, is scheduled for widening in 2018.

Structurally deficient bridges are not necessarily unsafe or dangerous either, Ragonese said.

“The term structurally deficient bridge is used to describe bridges in need of rehabilitation or potential replacement,” she said. “These bridges become a priority for corrective measures, and may be posted to restrict the weight of vehicles using them.”

Next year, NDOT has a project scheduled to replace one of the two structurally deficient bridges — the Muller Lane bridge over the west channel of the Carson River, built in 1947.

The Muller Lane Bridge over the West Fork of the Carson River is due for replacement in 2018.

The Muller Lane and Centerville Lane improvements would bring Douglas County’s bridge system from 81.6 percent sufficiency to 86.8 percent sufficiency.

The remaining structurally deficient bridge, built in 1936, crosses the West Fork of the Carson River on Dressler Lane in the southwestern corner of the Valley.

During and immediately following the flood of Jan. 8-9, NDOT bridge inspectors visually assessed state bridges in the area for any imminent bridge safety concerns.

As another measure of safety, NDOT contracted with underwater bridge inspectors to evaluate for any potential flood-related bridge damage. The professional underwater bridge inspectors from Collins Engineers inspected 38 roadway bridges in flood-impacted areas of the greater Truckee Meadows, including Truckee River bridges from Verdi east to the Fernley area as well as the Carson Valley between Carson City and Gardnerville/Minden.

Using dry suits and diving gear, inspectors dove underwater to visually and manually inspect underwater bridge piers and abutments.

No major bridge damage or imminent safety concerns were found during these inspections.

“For drivers, it is often during and following a flood or earthquake that the importance of safe bridges becomes apparent,” Ragonese said, adding that approximately 460 million miles are driven on roads in Douglas County every year. “But, for us at NDOT, the safety of our bridges and roadways across the region and across the state is top priority each and every day.

“We inspect every bridge across the state every two years, and some even more often, to help ensure they remain safe for all drivers.”