Sevier River Bridge Axtell, Utah

The Sevier River Bridge, located approximately 2.5 miles east of Axtell is a critical thoroughfare for the numerous farmers and ranchers central Utah. It is also structurally and functionally deficient with a sufficiency rating of an abysmal 16.8 per a 2002 inspection by the Utah Department of Transportation. The aging bridge could no longer handle significant loads and, if allowed to deteriorate further, would cause significant travel disruption to nearby communities. 

Bridge Facts
Location: Axtell, Utah
Owner: Utah DOT
Length/Width: 75-feet long x 28-feet wide
Type of Bridge: Prefabricated steel beams with concrete deck
As part of its 2009 Statewide Transportation Improvement Program, the Utah Department of Transportation scheduled the replacement of the Sevier River Bridge – though they planned to do it with a slightly different twist.
Well known for its use of accelerated bridge construction techniques and pre-fabricated bridge components to speed the construction and repair of the state’s aging bridge infrastructure, the Utah DOT opted to replace the Sevier River Bridge with pre-fabricated steel bridge components.
Tom Christensen, P.E., project engineer with Jones & DeMille Engineering, says, “We specified prefabricated steel on this project for several reasons. One reason was that steel beams are typically shallower than pre-fabricated, pre-stressed concrete systems, which allowed us to keep a low bridge profile height. The second factor was cost. The pre-fabricated steel beams were less expensive than comparable pre-fabricated concrete systems.”
Completed in March 2010, the new Sevier Bridge, located approximately 10 feet north of the existing bridge location, is 75 ft long x 28 ft wide steel beam bridge with a concrete deck that sits on piles and caissons. The short span steel bridge was fabricated by Wheeler Bridge, an executive member of the Short Span Steel Bridge Alliance.

The new bridge was designed with 4 longitudinal weathering steel beams. The beams were prefabricated and shipped in pairs. Bolted diaphragms connected the beam pairs after they were set. The concrete deck was cast-in-place and a crash-tested, prefabricated steel railing finished the bridge. 

About the Short Span Steel Bridge Alliance
The Short Span Steel Bridge Alliance (SSSBA) is the industry resource for information related to short span steel bridges in North America. SSSBA’s objective is to provide essential information to bridge owners and designers on the unique benefits, innovative designs, cost competitiveness, and performance related to using steel in short span installations up to 140 feet in length. Alliance partners include bridge and culvert industry leaders, including manufacturers, fabricators and representatives of related associations and government organizations. To learn more visit or email