The Santa Fe Avenue Bridge crosses over the Tuolumne River connecting the nearby communities of Empire and Hughson in central Stanislaus County. Originally built in 1947, the bridge is major north/south arterial road approximately one mile south of State Route 132 serving roughly 10,000 vehicles per day with ten percent of those vehicles being trucks. After a recent assessment, the existing bridge was determined to be seismically deficient. A full replacement of the bridge is now required in order to provide a safer crossing over the river.
The existing bridge has only two-lanes and is narrow with a width of only 24 feet curb-to-curb and no shoulder on either side. The project consists of replacing the existing eight-span reinforced concrete T-girder structure with a new three-span structure cast-in-place, pre-stressed concrete box girder bridge with an overall length of 520 feet. In order to minimize impacts to the public, two through traffic lanes will be maintained during construction.
Once constructed, the new bridge will have a hunched superstructure to match the aesthetics of the existing structure and include the following improvements:
- Two 12 foot wide through traffic lanes in each direction
- A twelve foot wide center median lane to accommodate safe turning movements to/from existing driveways at both ends of the bridge
- Eight foot wide shoulders
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