Topeka engineers: Campfire damaged Kansas Avenue bridge beam, $730K to fix

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A homeless campfire gone wrong that damaged a city bridge’s steel beam will cost Topeka $730,000 to fix, according to the city’s engineering department.

A presentation prepared for the March 5 city council meeting shows a steel beam in the Kansas Avenue bridge to north Topeka was badly damaged. The engineering department said the girder along with part of the concrete will need to be replaced.

The bridge was closed at the Curtis Flyoff for two months after a fire at a homeless camp caused the bridge’s steel beam to bend in December 2018.

The engineering department estimated $730,000 in repair costs breaks down as follows:

  • $7,000 for investigation of remaining strength and material testing.
  • $36,000 for replacement design.
  • $6,000 for steel girder fabrication inspection.
  • $56,000 for field construction observation.
  • $75,000 for estimated traffic control.
  • $550,000 in estimated construction.

Click here to view the engineering department’s presentation for Tuesday’s meeting.

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