City project managers met with neighborhood residents on Wednesday, May 19, to discuss plans and address concerns over the Haley and De La Vina Bridge Replacement project, the first of seven expected bridge renovation projects. The site is established, and removal of the old bridge will begin within coming weeks, officials said.
Plans for the project began in 2001, after Caltrans deemed the bridge structurally deficient. The bridge was originally built in 1915, and must be replaced to meet safety requirements for earthquake, vehicular and pedestrian loads, as well as water flow. In updating the bridge, the city also plans to renovate street lighting, sidewalks, landscaping, and surrounding buildings that were affected during construction.
Public affairs consultant Kirsten Ayars, of Ayars & Associates, presented a series of blueprints and a timeline to show the progress already made and the work yet to come. Work began on the site in November 2009 to prep the area and close down affected streets. All neighborhood utilities such as gas, Internet, and electric connections have been relocated, some placed underground, to keep the neighborhood running during the renovation. Project manager Joshua Haggmark said permits have recently been obtained to divert the creek that runs under the bridge into pipes, which allows demolition of the old bridge to begin.
Officials said the construction of the new bridge is expected to be completed in the summer 2011. The bridge will be made 15 feet wider, which will reportedly better manage water flow and prevent flooding. New, native landscaping will be planted around the bridge and creek bed once construction is completed. Additional renovations will be made throughout the neighborhood to improve the area, such as refurbishing the homes around the new bridge and renaming them as historic cottages. According to Haggmark, Brinkerhoff Avenue will also have improved light fixtures installed in August which will brighten the path for anyone walking at night. This will coincide with projects for cleaning up storm debris and sidewalk renovation.
Haggmark also announced the installation of 10-foot-tall sound curtains to surround the site and minimize noise. Plans are currently being made to work with Brownie’s Market to install security cameras around the site, and a street sweeper has been hired to clean the roads around the area once a month. Construction manager Kathy Murray explained that people have been very tolerant of the construction thus far. She feels everyone is happy to have the quiet relief of living on a closed road with no noisy traffic. Anyone who does have an issue with the construction work can seek out Murray, who works on site in her office at 132 Haley Street.
With the completion of this project, city workers plan to continue renovating six other bridges. The Ortega Bridge will follow this project, with the Carrillo Bridge after that.