High flows take out bridge near Mad Creek Barn | SteamboatToday.com
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High flows take out bridge near Mad Creek Barn

A bridge along National Forest Service Road 128 near the Mad Creek Barn was washed out in recent days. The downed bridge does not affect the Mad Creek Trail, but will prevent people from looping the road and the trail.
USFS/Courtesy photo

A bridge on National Forest Service Road 128 near Mad Creek Barn has been washed out due to Mad Creek’s high flows.

Staff at the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests and Thunder Basin National Grassland received reports of the downed bridge on Thursday, May 18.

The bridge, just east of the barn, is on a service road used only by Forest Service vehicles, as well as hikers and bikers making a loop with the Mad Creek Trail, otherwise known as Trail 1100. The Mad Creek Trail is not affected by the bridge washing out.



Fortunately, the Forest Service was already aware of the state of the old bridge and began work to replace it last year.

“We’re already actively working on what a new bridge would look like,” said Michael Woodbridge, Hahns Peak and Bears Ears district ranger. “So that’s good news. We should have a final design by September.”



The Forest Service is about 60% of the way through the design process of a new bridge, which was funded through the Great American Outdoors Act, said Woodbridge. However, once the design is complete, the Forest Service will need more funding to build it.

Woodbridge said the Forest Service is generally good at staying ahead of bridges that need to be replaced and always takes time to design new ones well.

A bridge along National Forest Service Road 128 near the Mad Creek Barn was washed out in recent days. The downed bridge does not affect the Mad Creek Trail, but will prevent people from creating a loop with the road and the trail.
USFS/Courtesy photo

The new bridge will likely be longer, as the creek bed will be widened to allow the water to flow more freely in future springs.

“That’s why we’re planning the new bridge,” Woodbridge said. “If you don’t build a bridge right, it might not last.”


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