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When Placer County’s Department of Public Works installed an extra support on a small, single-lane bridge on Dowd Road near Lincoln, the repair was a temporary fix.

The bridge, over Yankee Slough on unincorporated county land, was almost shut down in 2005 when the California Department of Transportation recommended immediate closure due to sagging.  The temporary support at mid-span was later replaced with an alternative support system to prevent further structural deterioration and possible collapse.

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However, the aging span was approaching its useful life and the department began planning for the bridge’s replacement. Today, the Board of Supervisors awarded a contract for that replacement to the firm of McGuire and Hester. The $2.57 million contract will improve approaches and bring the bridge into compliance with current structural, geometric, and hydraulic guidelines. The new bridge will be expanded to two lanes with shoulders and raised four feet to move it above the flood plain. Raising the bridge will necessitate building much longer approaches, which are included in the contract.

“This is one of our county’s most unhealthy bridges,” said senior project engineer Matt Randall.

To fund the replacement, the county applied for and secured bridge replacement funding through the Federal Highway Bridge Program. As the federal monies will pay 100 percent of the construction costs, there will be no net county cost.

As bridges age and population and traffic patterns change, the county has embarked on an aggressive program to keep roadways, highways and bridges safe for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians. The Dowd Road bridge replacement is one of numerous bridge projects where the county is set to begin work.

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