x
Breaking News
More () »

Caltrans says innovative 'accelerated bridge construction' method is faster, safer

Caltrans said crews are using innovative accelerated bridge construction techniques to complete the work on Highway 99 as quickly as possible.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Caltrans shut down Highway 99 from 47th Avenue to the Highway 50 connector for four days starting Friday to replace the bridge deck at the 21st Avenue Undercrossing.

While the project is having major traffic impacts on the Sacramento region, the agency says crews are using innovative accelerated bridge construction techniques to complete the work as quickly as possible. They said the techniques avoid extensive traffic shifts and lane reductions that could last up to six months. 

"We hope people can bear with us for a few days, so that they don’t have to bear with us for several months," said Caltrans North Region Construction Chief Andy Alvarado. 

Caltrans said the accelerated bridge construction method allows the contractor to pre-cast and inspect the bridge girders off-site. Large trucks haul in the massive girders, each weighing as much as 35,000 pounds. Tall cranes are then used to swing them into place. Crews bind the girders together and overlay the bridge deck. 

"We like the technique," Alvarado said. "As more contractors get used to using it, the costs come down. They get more proficient in using it, (and) we learn a lot every time. So, we’re definitely going to be using it quite a bit more."

Caltrans said a similar method was used for the $14.1 million project that replaced the deteriorating Echo Summit Bridge on U.S. Highway 50 in El Dorado County during the summer of 2020.

WATCH ALSO FROM ABC10: 

Highway 99 closure impacts record stores on World Record Day