At Stronghold Engineering, we’ve been working tirelessly at completing the BIA Indian Bench Bridge. This project will enhance infrastructure and improve connectivity within the South Fork Indian Reservation in Elko County, Nevada. At the heart of the project is the dismantling of the existing damaged Indian Bench Bridge and the subsequent construction of a new, modern structure along Route 3.

This undertaking holds great significance for both the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and Stronghold Engineering, as it showcases a shared dedication to advancing community welfare and promoting sustainable development.

Purpose of the BIA Indian Bench Bridge Project

The Indian Bench Bridge project aims to replace aging infrastructure that has been in place for several decades. This bridge has been rendered unsafe for public use, which necessitates action to address the community’s transportation needs and safety concerns.

The purpose of this project is to create a new bridge that can withstand extreme weather conditions and provide the community with a safe and reliable crossing. We had 3 main objectives for the BIA Indian Bench Bridge project.

  1. Remove debris and dismantle the former bridge site to improve safety and environmental impact.
  2. Design and construct a new, modern bridge that meets all necessary safety standards on Route 3.
  3. Grade, drain, and place aggregate surface course on 0.26 miles of roadway leading to the new bridge site.

Community Impact and Involvement

The BIA Indian Bench Bridge project doesn’t just improve infrastructure—it’s making a positive impact on the community. The new bridge and roadway will help to connect the South Fork Band of the Te-Moak Tribe with neighboring communities, providing easier access to employment opportunities, healthcare facilities, and education centers.

Stronghold Engineering is grateful to acknowledge the support from the South Fork Band of the Te-Moak Tribe, as they have helped tremendously in the project from start to finish.

  • Duane Garcia, the Tribe Chairman, was gracious enough to contribute materials and contacts for supplies.
  • During our winter shutdown, the Tribal Police Officer was kind enough to look after our project.
  • The Ranch Manager of the surrounding property gave us unrestricted access to his land so our 135′ long trucks could haul girders to the job site.

Engineering and Design Considerations

Access to this project’s location was particularly challenging due to its unique features. We faced obstacles such as:

  • Limited working space
  • Little to no storage room
  • Groundwater at the stream level
  • A creek that never runs dry

We also had difficulty accessing the job site, which created problems when trying to dig footings and install culverts. Despite these challenges, our team worked diligently to design a bridge that would withstand the environmental conditions while also meeting all safety and engineering standards.

Environmental Sustainability Measures

Stronghold Engineering is dedicated to creating sustainable solutions in all of our projects. Throughout the BIA Indian Bench Bridge project, we’ve undertaken proactive measures to minimize our ecological footprint. This includes successfully diverting the existing creek multiple times without disrupting its natural flow. 

Additionally, we’ve taken special care to preserve the native Rainbow Trout population, ensuring their habitat remains undisturbed. These efforts underscore our dedication to minimizing environmental impact throughout the construction process, showcasing our firm commitment to sustainability.

Project Timeline and Progress Update

As of now, significant progress has been made on the BIA Indian Bench Bridge project. Stronghold Engineering has successfully completed the removal of old bridge remnants, installed bridge girders, and finalized the rail bank on the north side of the bridge. Environmental cleanup efforts are nearing completion, further demonstrating the project’s commitment to environmental preservation. 

Following the winter shutdown, scheduled to resume operations in the spring, the focus will shift towards completing the paving of new roads. With these remaining tasks in mind, the project remains on track for its anticipated completion date in May 2024.

Keep Your Project Environmentally Safe With Stronghold Engineering

At Stronghold Engineering, we understand the importance of balancing infrastructure development with environmental sustainability. With our team’s expertise and commitment to innovative solutions, we are proud to be a part of projects like the BIA Indian Bench Bridge that make a positive impact on the community while also preserving the environment for future generations.

Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help with your next project.