FOREST SERVICE TO MOVE BASSETT GULCH BRIDGE TO SLATE CREEK IN JULY
KETCHUM, IDAHO… The temporary bridge crossing Warm Springs Creek to the Bassett Gulch mill site at the mouth of Bassett Gulch will be removed in early July and moved to Slate Creek to allow clean-up of the Carbonate mine and mill site. The bridge is a portable design, currently on public land managed by the Ketchum Ranger District of the Sawtooth National Forest and was installed in 2004 to convey heavy equipment across the creek in the clean-up of the mill and its tailings; the cleanup was completed in 2005. The bridge will be lifted from its abutments with a crane and then transported to the Sawtooth National Recreation Area. The portable span will be installed across Slate Creek to allow vehicle access to dismantle, excavate, and otherwise clean up the Carbonate mine and mill site. The removal of the bridge at Bassett Gulch and site cleanup project is expected to take two days to a week to complete.
At the Bassett Gulch site, the Forest will also remove a makeshift bridge (currently beneath the structure to be moved) consisting of a railroad flatcar and wood cribbing abutments. Although both the bridge to be moved and the flatcar (previously installed by the mill operator) have been used by hikers and skiers to access the south side of Warm Springs Creek, neither span was intended to facilitate recreation and the flatcar bridge is not considered safe for use by vehicles or pedestrians. No designated trail or other developed recreational facilities exist on the south side of the creek at this location and a replacement pedestrian bridge is not proposed.
The clean-up of the Carbonate mine and mill site is expected to take four months and the Forest intends to remove the bridge after the clean-up either this fall or in 2011.
For additional information contact Heidie Torrealday, Minerals Specialist at the Minidoka Ranger Station, (208) 678-0430.
Sawtooth National Forest
Ketchum Ranger District