By Zach Friend
I wanted to write to provide you with the latest on Valencia Road – specifically the schedule for construction of the temporary bridge! As you know, it’s been a complex process getting to this point (with federal and state regulatory agencies, utility relocations and more) but we now have a construction schedule from the contractor for the temporary bridge.
We made a decision that even though it adds a slight amount of additional time to the total timeline, we will be installing a two-lane (two-way) temporary bridge. This will significantly improve traffic flow in the area and provide you with the same type of access you had before the damage. We had explored a one-lane bridge with controlled access or just single direction but we really felt it was best to try to get full access back through the bridge – while it adds a little time it seems worth it for you to have that full access back. All vehicles (construction, delivery, emergency) will be able to use the temporary bridge.
The first step is the relocation of utilities from the roadway. This has already begun and some of you may have noticed Trout Gulch Mutual Water on site this week working on the relocation of their line. The next step is relocation of the other utilities (PG&E, Comcast and AT&T) that have multiple lines that run along Valencia. That is expected to begin right after the water line work is complete.
You will begin to see heavy equipment mobilized on site within the next ten days and drilling will begin in early May. Drilling is required for the piles to support the temporary bridge and for the culvert. Given the depth of the culvert failure and anchors needed for the bridge drilling is anticipated to take 6-8 weeks.
After the drilling is completed there will be shoring work for the culvert and temporary retaining walls. The bridge can go in right after that. The contractors anticipate the two-lane/two-way bridge will be completed in early July (well in time for the start of the school year). While this is later than we had hoped a few months ago, now that construction work has begun at least we now have an end date on the horizon.
Obviously after the temporary bridge is installed there will be additional work that will need to be done underneath in anticipation of the regular road being opened. This will take some time — but the bridge will remain open as long as possible before the permanent road overlay needs to be done in its place. We will have a better sense of that timeline as construction moves along but the key takeaways are that construction has begun, a two-lane/two-way bridge is anticipated to be completed in early July.
We will continue to have regular meetings with Public Works and the contractors as work proceeds and should anything change along the way we will pass it along. As I mentioned above, as we also get a better sense of the timeline for the permanent road fix (as work will be happening concurrently with the temporary bridge in place) we will provide that as well.
Thanks again for your continued patience — we have a bridge on the horizon!
As always, if you have any questions just drop me an email: Zach.Friend@santacruzcounty.us; or call me at 454-2200.