Work has begun on a 14-month project to build a new $3.5 million bridge across Santa Rosa Creek at Main Street, just southeast of Santa Rosa Creek Road, but area drivers won’t have to dread months of traffic interruptions, according to representatives of the county and contractor Souza Construction of San Luis Obispo.
A large drill rig from Myers Foundation Drilling of Morro Bay (“Poking holes is our business”) augered 40-foot-deep holes into the bank alongside the bridge on Monday, Aug. 5, making way for steel beams to hold rocks to shore up the bank during construction, according to county Public Works inspector Jason Rath.
Utility crews may need to block a lane for a few days during the next couple of weeks as they finish relocating lines and cables, according to Project Manager Mike Boyce.
The new, wider bridge is to be built adjacent to the 1929 version, Boyce said. He estimated that the total job would require flagging on maybe a dozen occasions. “There’s no reason to impact traffic when we don’t need to.”
Boyce said work this year, which he expects to continue into November, will create the abutments to support the new bridge. Construction would resume in approximately June 2014, creating the concrete box-girder, clear span bridge between the abutments.
At that time, Main Street would be closed to traffic while crews connect the new bridge to the roadway and decommission the current bridge. The contract allows for a three-week closure then.
Boyce anticipates traffic will be crossing the new bridge by September or October of next year.