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Auburn, Calif.- Work on the $74.7 million seismic retrofit and painting project for the Foresthill Bridge is set to begin. The Placer County Department of Public Works is reminding residents and travelers that they can register for e-mail traffic alerts for the project.

The contractor, Golden State Bridge, has begun staging equipment and construction trailers at both ends of the span in anticipation of actual construction work.

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The work that will begin in the coming weeks includes:

  • Strengthening the bridge abutments at both ends;
  • Installing work platforms on the underside of the bridge; and
  • ย•ย Replacing the pedestrian railing;

Traffic across the 2,428-foot span, which spans the North Fork of the American River, will be routed into one lane for short periods beginning the end of February. The shifting of vehicular and pedestrian traffic will be done on alternate sides as work on the pedestrian railing is performed. There will be no parking permitted on the side of the road where railing replacement is taking place. This is intended to prevent pedestrians from parking on one side of the roadway and then crossing traffic to get to the other, open side of the bridge.

Golden State will be using the pullout areas closest to the bridge for its staging area. Recreational users have to use pullout areas further away from the bridge. While this may create an inconvenience for some users, it will help ensure the safety of construction workers, the traveling public, and area recreational users. Trailheads will remain accessible to the public when it is safe to keep them open. The project will not result in new bike lanes. However, when complete, there will be 8-foot shoulders on the bridge, in addition to separate, 5-foot sidewalks.

To strengthen the bridge abutments, the contractor will have to create openings beneath the bridge deck in the concrete boxes at both ends of the bridge that house the abutments. These opening are necessary to get equipment to the abutments to perform the work.

Over the spring, most of the work will center on providing access for the contractor to perform the work including the installation of work platforms under the bridge. There will be two temporary platforms installed under the bridge for use during construction. These platforms, which will be in place for about three years, will be used to perform the seismic strengthening, installing the new catwalk and prepping and painting the bridge.

Approximately 89 percent of the funding for the project comes from the Highway Bridge Program portion of the Federal Highway Trust fund, which is derived from federal fuel tax. The remaining 11 percent, including Placer County’s $3 million share, comes from State Proposition 1B bond funds. These bond proceeds are funneled through the state to the County for use only on transportation projects. The federal funding can only be used on bridges. The Foresthill Bridge is on a mandatory seismic retrofit list. If Placer County does not use the federal funding, it would be given to another jurisdiction with a bridge on the retrofit list.

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