Parsippany, N.J. — An Acrow Bridge modular steel bridge was installed recently to restore passage on privately owned land in Santa Rosa, Calif., after destruction of a timber bridge during the Tubbs Fire. The second most destructive wildfire in California history, the Tubbs Fire was part of the “Northern California Firestorm,” a series of more than a dozen major fires that burned simultaneously across eight Northern California counties beginning in early October 2017.
By the time the Tubbs Fire was contained, over three weeks after it began, it had destroyed more than 5,600 structures and burned an estimated 36,810 acres. At least 22 people in Sonoma County were killed. The city of Santa Rosa was particularly impacted by the disaster.
Among the more than 2,800 homes destroyed, two were on the property owned by Lynn Garric, who, in addition to her homes, also lost the timber bridge that served as her link to the outside world.
When the rebuilding efforts began, California Office of Emergency Services sought out information from Acrow Bridge on available materials and services, which resulted in contractor Sukut Construction’s rental of a temporary Acrow structure for use on Garric’s property. The 80-foot-long steel bridge is 12 feet wide, with an anti-skid epoxy deck. Initially launched for temporary use, Garric was pleased with the performance of the bridge and decided to purchase the superstructure as a permanent replacement, which required revised engineering plans. The bridge was de-launched then replaced on-alignment with the burned timber bridge.
“No one knew how to help me before the Acrow Bridge was brought in by the state,” said Garric. “Where does one buy a bridge? New bridge construction costs were prohibitive. My dilemma included meeting the state and federal requirements of building in an endangered species habitat (coho salmon, steelhead trout and yellow-legged frogs). This 80-foot bridge actually spanned the creek so that no work was necessary in the sensitive creek bed. I hired local contractors, and the Acrow technical assistance team guided my contractors through the process. The actual construction and launching was quick, and seeing the crane set the bridge on the new abutments was a thrill.”
“Acrow’s prefabricated system allowed for quick deployment for emergency access, and reuse flexibility allowed for a permanent replacement for the Garric residence,” said Jack Arizcuren, Pacific States Sales Manager at Acrow Bridge. “They are also an ideal solution for use as permanent structures as they are manufactured with high strength, high quality U.S. steel from ISO-certified mills and galvanized to protect against corrosion.”