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Big R Bridge sets up Saco Salmon for spawning success

November 27, 2015


A pair of failing culverts on a private horse stable’s driveway in southern Maine had been troubling both the owner and The Saco River Salmon Club & Hatchery (SRSC&H). The culverts, retrofitted from old boiler tanks, were badly deteriorated and at risk of collapsing. A failure would have been disastrous for one of the area’s most important Atlantic Salmon spawning streams.

river-crossing-modular-bridge  vehicular-modular-bridge-river-crossing

SRSC&H helped the owner to pursue funding from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and a Big R Modular Vehicular Bridge was selected as a fast and economical solution to incur minimal impact to the stream habitat.

Issue with ‘blue goo’ in foundation soils
NRSC test excavations close to the stream revealed a seemingly bottomless deposit of blue marine sediment, clearly unable to support a substantial structure. As a work-around, the abutment structures were set farther back from the stream banks on better foundation soils and a longer bridge was specified.

Very tight time from start-finish
The driveway was the only access to the farm and detailed coordination was required to minimize inconvenience. Our in-house Engineering Team and Technical Sales Representative worked closely with the NRCS design team, the contractors and the farm owner to ensure all parties were on the same page and ready for a successful installation. 

The 60' bridge was lifted onto the site by crane, which greatly reduced the amount of in-stream work. Salmon smolts were seen swimming in the work area throughout the project. When all was said and done, the NRSC design engineer said they planned to relay the project’s success to others in their organization so they are aware of the Big R Bridge option. 


Name: Stream Restoration - Bridge Over Stream 
Location: Biddeford, Maine
Owner: Al Dube Quarter Horse Stable   
Engineer: NRCS-Maine   
Contractor: Dearborn Construction Inc.    
Product: Prefabricated Vehicular Modular Bridge
Application: River Crossing
Dimensions: Span 60' x Width 12' 
Installation Time: Culvert Pipe removal Monday morning, traffic over the bridge on Thursday

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