Bernard Pack Bridge was completed in 1957 and has a span of 270 feet. In 2000, Idaho experienced a mega-fire event that came down to this location. Winds generated by the fire were estimated to hit 150 mph, which pulled the bridge sideways by 12 feet, and as the winds died down, the bridges finally resting place had it displaced and buckled by approximately four feet. The Forest Service contracted out Sahale LLC to repair the bridge, which they did in four weeks in 2001.
Sahale has a page dedicated to the repair and has this paragraph regarding the job: “Repair of the bridge involved returning the superstructure to the original beam seat locations and replacement of damaged stringer and floor beam sections. Additionally, the bridge was upgraded to included a new sway brace system to prevent future superstructure dislocation, and the deck and railing timbers and suspenders were replaced. The field work was completed by Sahale in late spring/early summer, 2001. Mobilization to this remote site was accomplished using fixed wing aircraft. Altogether, more than 30,000 pounds of steel, timber, tools and camp equipment was mobilized by air for the bridge reconstruction. The crew were housed at the Flying B Ranch during their four week stay.”
The bridge company, Sahale, was started and operated by Carroll Vogel, who made a name for himself by building over 200 trail bridges in national parks and forests. Carroll led a fascinating life, which deserves more recognition than what’s on this page. His obituary in the Seattle Times is worth a read.
All of the photos below are credited to Sahale LLC