Caltrans marked the start of construction on a new bridge on Highway 49 at Coloma on Thursday.
A groundbreaking ceremony signaled a start on a $22 million project designed to bring the crossing over the south fork of the American River up to current seismic standards while providing safer access for motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists.
The new bridge in the Lotus-Coloma area will replace the existing 62-year-old structure. Previous Caltrans reports had pegged the age of the bridge at 66.
The project will include seismic upgrades, 8-foot shoulders and new sidewalks on both sides of the bridge. The project also includes new curbs, gutters, sidewalks and retaining walls.
“This project aligns with Caltrans’ goals to provide a safe transportation system that also improves mobility,” Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty said. “Now that the piers of the new bridge are on land versus being in the water, this new bridge will not only allow for safer travel by pedestrians and bicyclists, but it will also make it easier for rafters in the river below.”…
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