- Associated Press - Monday, July 27, 2015

RENO, Nev. (AP) - Some unexpected discoveries beneath Reno’s old Virginia Street Bridge are boosting the price of the demolition project, including some contaminated soil from the Truckee River bed and the granite foundation of a former bridge built in 1877.

The additional costs will total about $410,000, according to the Reno Gazette-Journal (https://tinyurl.com/p6fnuxu ).

The money will be paid out of a $1.6 million contingency fund that is included in Q&D; Construction’s $18 million contract, the newspaper reported Friday.

The historic downtown bridge was built in 1905. Construction to replace it began in June and is expected to be completed by next May.

Kurt Matzoll, Q&D;’s assistant project manager, said before the demolition began they could be in for some surprises.

“Any time you have an old structure, there are some unknowns,” Matzoll told The Associated Press in June. “We’re not 100 percent sure what we’ll run into, so we are going to take it apart as slow as we can.”

First, crews found dirt and water contaminated with hydrocarbons near the Masonic building, forcing the contractor to spend an estimated $300,000 on a treatment system for the pollution.

Next, in the same area, crews found buried roof drain pipes coming out of the Masonic building that empty into the river. The pipes were at least 50 years old. Current code no longer allows waste water to drain directly into the river without being treated first.

And this month, crews working on the south end of the bridge came across large granite blocks, which served as the foundation for a steel bridge built in 1877. The blocks had to be excavated and documented by historians before work could continue at a cost of $50,000.

It hasn’t been decided yet whether the public will be able to get keepsake pieces of concrete from the old bridge. The contractor has set aside a pile of debris from the demolition, but it will be up to federal regulators to approve a change to the city’s project permit.


Information from: Reno Gazette-Journal, https://www.rgj.com

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