The trails beneath the Foresthill Bridge are scheduled to be closed for four days in March. Closure of the bridge to all traffic is scheduled for the first two days of April. The Foresthill Bridge Seismic Retrofit and Repainting Project is a $60 million project to strengthen the iconic bridge that spans the North Fork of the American River.
For the first trail/under bridge closures, the area under the bridge will be closed as a safety precaution while a crane lowers large steel assemblies into place under the bridge from the south side of the bridge. The planned closure dates are March 11, 12, 25 and 26. The county will provide advance noticing of the closures through the media, by posting signs at the trailheads, and stationing changeable message signs at the project. The closures will also be coordinated with California State Parks. In addition to signage, personnel will be stationed on each side under the bridge to highlight the closures.
The full road closure will shut down the span on April 1 and 2 to traffic in both directions. The closures on both days will be between 8 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. The complete closures will be needed to allow the contractor to place a crane on the north deck, which currently carries both directions of traffic. Provision have been made to accommodate emergency vehicles. The trails under the bridge will also be closed while work is done from the north side of the roadway.
Road barricades will be placed at the intersections of Foresthill Road and Lincoln Way and at Foresthill Road and Old Auburn Foresthill Road. The California Highway Patrol will have patrol cars and officers stationed at either end of the detour.
The detour route from Auburn will be Lincoln Way to Highway 49 to Old Auburn Foresthill Road. The route from Foresthill will be the reverse. The detour will be signed and changeable message boards will also be used to direct traffic around the closure.
The bridge contractor is planning to install large steel assemblies to modify the pier bearings. The bearings allow movement between the actual bridge and the pier columns that support it. These new steel assemblies will serve as a “bumper” system and allow greater movement in the event of an earthquake. A total of eight bumpers will be added at the tops of the piers. There are two pier columns and each has two rocker bearings. Each rocker bearing requires two bumpers. Each steel “bumper” assembly weighs more than 30,000 pounds.
For additional information, up-to-date closure information or to submit questions, please visit the project website: www.ForesthillBridgeRenewal.com.