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Arroyo Grande will fix, not replace, Bridge Street bridge

The Arroyo Grande City Council has decided to repair rather than replace the 109-year-old Bridge Street bridge.
The Arroyo Grande City Council has decided to repair rather than replace the 109-year-old Bridge Street bridge. dmiddlecamp@thetribunenews.com

The Arroyo Grande City Council voted Tuesday to repair rather than replace the historical Bridge Street bridge that spans Arroyo Grande Creek in the Village area.

The council previously had been faced with the question of whether to rehabilitate the existing bridge, at a greater expense, or just replace the failing structure. In 2015, the city estimated repairs would cost about $4 million versus $1.7 million to replace the bridge.

The 109-year-old bridge is functionally obsolete by Caltrans standards, too narrow and with the lowest load limit allowed on bridges before they must be closed — 3 tons, or roughly the weight of an empty Hummer H2. Officials have warned that if the bridge’s issues are not addressed soon, it will probably have to be closed.

On Tuesday, the council decided to drop the replacement option, and instead pursue rehabilitation, largely because the city secured all of the funding. Changes in Caltrans policy also made it unlikely the state agency would support replacing a historical bridge.

Rehabilitation calls for replacing a supplemental truss added to the bridge in 1989 for support, but to keep the original structure intact.

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