In the fertile farmland to the north of Pasco, Selph Landing Road carves a path through the fields between the Burlington Northern railroad and Highway 365. Other than a brief stretch of guardrail, a driver on the road may not even notice when they cross over the small bridge spanning the Pasco Pump Lateral Irrigation Canal and through the intersection with the gravel Richview Drive to the south.
Built in 1947, the Selph Landing Bridge was a narrow, 23 foot long single-span concrete and steel structure that had been serving the communities and commercial businesses of Franklin County for six decades. But as time passed, commercial vehicles grew in size.
The federal government asked state and local governments to evaluate all their bridges to ensure they were adequate to carry a new classification of larger, heavier Special Hauling Vehicles (4-7 axles) and AASHTO trucks or to post signage restricting their use. In 2017, the Selph Landing Bridge was one that needed to be restricted due to numerous spalls in the concrete deck and rusting reinforcing bar exposed on the underside.
Selph Landing Bridge before replacement. The bridge's superstructure was reconstructed in 1961 to replace the existing steel girder/concrete deck bridge with a steel structure.
ICW was awarded the contract in 2021 to remove the existing bridge, install 64' span of multi-plate arch pipe, concrete headwalls and a 15' transition section.
The work on Selph Landing Bridge had to be completed quickly between January and mid-March, when the irrigation would be turned on.
Unfortunately, the bridge was clearly needed to support the local agricultural business, farm equipment and heavy trucks. In addition to the bridge load challenges, the intersection with Richview Drive had been notoriously difficult for large vehicles and trucks to safely navigate and had a history of collisions with the steel guardrail attached to the bridge.
The project was beyond the scope of repairs and a new bridge would be needed. The new design would ensure the bridge would be able to safely accommodate the AASHTO and SHV truck load requirements as well as provide a larger turning radius for vehicles at the intersection.
While the bridge spanned an irrigation canal that did not pose any fish passage barrier issues, the water is essential for farming so timing of the construction would need to be carefully orchestrated with nearby farms, businesses and landowners.
The corrugated steel pipe was carefully designed in Spokane and installed in January, with a snowstorm immediately following.
The headwalls with transition walls were completed at the end of February. By mid March, the water had filled the pipe and attention turned to preparing the road for paving.
Once completed, the existing bridge was removed and replaced with 64' linear feet of 7 ft 8 in span, multi-plate arch pipe and concrete headwalls.
SOURCING THE FUNDING
Franklin County began the process of securing funding for the project. Fortunately, the bridge was eligible for FHWA Bridge Program and, in 2019, received $260,016 in grant funds to replace the bridge. However, federal aid funds come with the stipulation requiring a local match for bridge projects.
But where to get the matching funds? Enter, CRAB.
The County Road Administration Board is a unique and innovative agency that, among other responsibilities, administers the Rural Arterial Program (RAP), a low-overhead, competitive road and bridge reconstruction funding program. It has been a successful and popular program since its inception in 1983 and is a valuable resource for the nearly 13,000 mile rural arterial road system that connects Washington State’s harvested resources to the marketplace.
The Selph Landing Bridge project was selected by the agency to receive $72,600, which would provide their qualifying match for the federal funding.
By using both sources, the amount of local funding necessary to
complete the project was significantly lowered for Franklin County – by 99.47%!
Industrial Construction of Washington (ICW) was awarded the contract for $199,999 on January 5th, 2021 and completed the project by mid-March. In order to work within the time constraints of the project, they were able to work with the supplier to shift the manufacturing of the corrugated steel pipe from Kentucky to Spokane, WA and significantly cut down on the 6-8 week delivery time that would have been needed from Kentucky.
The new bridge now safely supports the large vehicles and equipment of the surrounding agricultural businesses, allows for the free flow of irrigation water below and provides a safer intersection that accommodates the wide turn radius of large vehicles. The final contracted cost of the project was $201,191 but, because of federal aid and the RAP program, the costs to the communities of Franklin County was a mere $1386.