AHSAHKA, Idaho – The Dworshak Hatchery access road bridge across railroad tracks near Orofino, Idaho, is being removed and replaced with an at-grade vehicle crossing, according to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officials. Motorists should be aware of construction traffic in the area through the planned end of the project on Apr. 30. For safety, some hiking trails near Bruce’s Eddy recreation area at Dworshak Dam have been temporarily closed during initial January construction.
Construction is expected to close the hatchery access road to traffic through Jan. 17 as the bridge and earthen abutments are removed. Hatchery road traffic is planned to resume on Jan. 18, though construction of the new crossing will continue through April, and drivers should remain cautious.
Earthen materials from the abutments are being moved uphill to the Dworshak Dam quarry during January. Hatchery bridge removal construction trucks are carrying loads a short distance on Ahsahka Road near the bridge over the North Fork of the Clearwater River, and are traveling to and from the quarry on Bruce’s Eddy Road.
For safety, the Bruce’s Eddy side of the Merry’s Bay and West Ridge trails will be closed to all public use 24 hours a day through Friday, Jan. 31, as construction vehicles move materials to the quarry. Signs are posted to indicate trail closures. However, the Bruce’s Eddy parking lot and boat launch #1 remain open to the public. Bruce’s Eddy visitors need to remain alert to construction traffic passing through the parking area.
The hatchery bridge was built in the late 1960s and could no longer carry the full weight of hatchery fish transport trucks. For safety, the Corps reduced the bridge weight load rating in spring 2012, and hatchery trucks had to reduce load weights to cross the bridge. The Corps considered various options for repairing or replacing the bridge. The at-grade crossing option was chosen because it allows temporary crossings during most construction, shorter overall construction planning and effort, and lower long-term maintenance costs for an at-grade railroad crossing.
The Dworshak Fish Hatchery has been operated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service since 1969 per an agreement with the Corps of Engineers. The hatchery is part of the Corps’ Dworshak Dam and Reservoir project.
Release no. 14-001