High, fast flowing water. This was the scene on December 31st as flooding came to the downtown Reno area.
Its not to tough to imagine something down here might sustain some damage.
It did right here at the one-hundred year old Virginia Street Bridge.
City fo Reno structural engineer John Sparnicht says divers made an assessment this past weekend. "Tthe state highway department had divers in to survery all these major bridges, and only the Virginia bridge had this anomaly. What happened apparently some flood waters when they rushed through here washed away some of the supporting soil under the center of the bridge."
For now the sidewalk on the west side of the bridge along with four parking spaces are blocked off...and traffic flowing southbound will have to fit in one lane going over the bridge.
Sparnicht says there are no cost estimates as to how much the reconstruction will cost.
But he anticipates the city will apply for FEMA funds headed our way because of the flooding. Also highway funds could be available because this portion of Virginia street he says is a major thoroughfare.
There are also concerns about the environment. Workers can't just go into the river and repair damage until they can ensure the water here stays safe. Sparnicht says he wants to assure residents using the bridge they are not in danger. " The condition is not serious to the extent the bridge is in danger of falling."
The two week down time includes planning and constuction combined.
One challenge workers face is adapting modern technologies and applying them to modern technology.