Sacramento, West Sacramento Searching for Architect for New I Street Bridge Project

SACRAMENTO -- The river view between Sacramento and West Sacramento will be changing soon. A new bridge will connect the two cities north of where the I Street Bridge is now.

The I Street Bridge may not look like much by today's standards. But more than a hundred years ago it was a marvel.

“The bridge was constructed in the east in 1911. It was shipped here an assembled in 1912,” said Robert Larson of Berkeley.

For the past nine months, Larson has been coming to the bridge from Berkeley, taking video of it to document its change.

“I think it’s important for future generations to understand this bridge,” Larson said.

But as big of fan as he is ...

“I think it’s a wonderful bridge, yes,” he said.

Even he agrees driving over it is no fun.

“As an automobile bridge no!” he added.

The road has tight lanes and a lot of curves.

That's why the cities of Sacramento and West Sacramento are building a new bridge -- complete with 12-foot sidewalks, two wider lanes and buffer bike lanes. And now they need someone to design it.

“Yeah, so iconic, but also a functional design,” said project manager Jesse Gothan.

The I Street Bridge replacement project will cost $11 million to design and is estimated to cost $160 million to build. But it will eliminate the windy road on the current I Street Bridge.

“You’ll be able to access it from the Sacramento River parkway, right to the sidewalks.” Gothan said.

The bridge will have to be a lift span bridge so there's room for boats to go under it. Meanwhile, the old bridge is owned by Union Pacific and will stay in place.

With the old bridge staying where it is, the new bridge will go just up river from that, making it the new I Street Bridge.

But its name could change because its location has nothing to do with I Street.

“If you look at where Railyards Boulevard is. It’ll line up with Railyards Boulevard on the Sacramento side and it will connect with C Street on the west Sacramento side.”