The Sandpoint Junction Connector bridge project (SJC) has been a boon to the regional economy around Sandpoint, Idaho. When complete, the SJC bridge project will double the track on BNSF’s existing line by constructing a second rail bridge over Lake Pend Oreille and adding new bridges over busy Sandpoint streets. These upgrades will reduce congestion and help move current freight traffic and future volumes more efficiently through town.
Many north Idaho businesses are participating in various aspects of the bridge construction, which has been particularly beneficial during the uncertain times of the pandemic when some construction projects have paused.
One such business is Mountain Metals LLC. Mountain Metals works with primary bridge construction contractor, Ames, pre-fabricating cross bracing for the bridge piers at their shop north of the SJC project site in the town of Ponderay, Idaho. 80% of their pre-fabrication work for the project is accomplished within their shop rather than in the field, which leads to faster completion. Welders have ready access to all the correct tools and can even paint the finished product before installation at the actual construction site.
Another business benefiting from the bridge project is local welding supply shop Oxarc, also located in Ponderay, ID. Oxarc, a family-owned business with 20 branch locations throughout the Northwest, has provided project contractors with welding supplies, industrial gasses, safety equipment, and other items. According to Oxarc’s Brandon Rackham, to date, the SJC bridge project has used 22,000 pounds of rod and wire purchased directly from Oxarc.
“[The SJC bridge project] has been very beneficial for our Sandpoint branch. It has given Oxarc the opportunity to hire more staff to maintain our current customer base and provide services to the contractors on this project.” – Brandon Rackham, Oxarc
To learn more about the Sandpoint Junction Connector bridge project, including a project overview, key benefits of the second rail bridge, and a construction timeline, visit keepsandpointrolling.com.