Repair Work Underway for Quake-Damaged Bridges

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Caltrans and its contractors have started work on six emergency contracts to repair damages caused by the August Napa earthquake.

In a special ground tour Tuesday, Caltrans engineers showed members of the media what work need to be done to repair many of the bridges in the area.

Unlike many of the old buldngs that toppled down in Downtown Napa, the bridges retained their shape.

Final repairs for 11 state-owned bridges will cost an estimated $5.3 million.

"Buildings, we are talking about non-reinforced masonry building, which is expected, but these are heavily reinforced, deep foundation bridges," Caltrans senior bridge engineer Nick Abuhamdih said.

Crews inspected the bridges for a few days after the quake. Then, they were cleared to reopen.

"The structural maintenance and inspection at CalTrans does a pretty good job at investigating, and is done periodically and pretty frequently, so that's why I think it went so smooth after such a major earthquake," Caltrans resident engineer, Joy Sharma said.

"The bridge probably could take more than 7M without suffering drastic damage," Abuhamdih said. "But typically, Caltrans policy is to design bridges to suffer some damages, but not to collapse."

None of the bridged came down, or even lost structural integrity. But they did find a few problems. Contractors are now doing spot fixes on several bridges across the region:

Imola Avenue [NAPA]
Napa River Bridge (Maxwell Bridge) [NAPA]
Old Sonoma Road [NAPA]
First St. [NAPA]
Butler Bridge [NAPA]
Lombard Overpass [NAPA]
Broadway Overpass [NAPA]
Fairground Dr. [SOLANO]
W37 to  N and S29 [SOLANO]
Napa River [SOLANO]
Walnut Street [SOLANO]
Wooden Valley [NAPA]

Caltrans first showed the media the damage on the Napa River Bridge, also called the Maxwell Bridge.

The estimated $300,000 project includes filing in the surrounding gravel, fixing the shear keys, and realigning the metal plate and barrier guard rails.

Another bridge contractors have already started working on is Old Sonoma Road.

"This roadway settled, so it used to be the same level as the side walk of the bridge," Abuhamdih said.

The sidewalk pavement had shifted several inches. The city of Napa has since temporarily fixed the gap but Caltrans will smooth out the sidewalk that now looks like a bumpy ramp.

The quake also stretched out all the supportive cable restrainers underneath the Old Sonoma Road bridge. All 30 cables will beed to be replaced.

Caltrans said lane closure around all of these bridges will begin Wednesday. But they will only be in effect at night.

"It is just minor damage, and we are working on fixing it, so it should be done in about a month or so," Sharma said.