Sacramento County’s Bridge Closed Until 2024
Sacramento County Department of Transportation (SacDOT) has recently closed a wooden bridge for construction. The Franklin Boulevard bridge near Lost Slough and Desmond Road in south Sacramento County was closed on Friday, February 17, 2023. The nearly two miles bridge is located north of the San Joaquin County line and overlooks the Mokelumne River Overflow.
Construction on the Franklin Boulevard Bridge
In 2005, the Franklin Boulevard Bridge was closed briefly to repair three crushed bent caps. The bridge has been on SacDOT’s list for replacement, with plans to rebuild it since 2018. According to a news release from the County, the closure is part of a replacement project for a new bridge. It involves replacing the timber trestle bridge with a new concrete structure.
County officials said the bridge is structurally deficient due to wear and tear over the years. The asphalt concrete over the bridge deck is substantially cracked down the centerline, the bent caps of the superstructure have suffered rapid deterioration, fire damage is apparent on many of the stringers, and the railings are inadequate.
SacDOT officials had plans to replace the bridge this year, but pavement damage and structural issues forced county officials to close the stretch of road.
Construction is expected to start this summer in late May or early June and will reopen after it is finished. The completion date is scheduled for the fall of 2024. The cost of the bridge construction project is estimated at over $11 million.
What Does This Mean for Traffic?
An average of 500 vehicles cross the bridge daily, with 10 percent of the traffic being large trucks. The closure of the bridge means there will be detours in place. According to the County’s news release, traffic will be rerouted along surface streets to Interstate 5. Passenger vehicles can use Desmond Road as a detour. However, large vehicles such as semi trucks and cars with trailers traveling southbound must take Twin Cities Road to Interstate 5. While heavy vehicles and large trucks traveling northbound are advised to take Walnut Grove Road to Interstate 5.
About the Franklin Boulevard Bridge
The Franklin Boulevard Bridge was built in 1930 and has a redwood timber stringer trestle design. The total length of the bridge is nearly 500 feet and has 26 spans, with a height of 19 feet at each span. The deck has a one-inch redwood subfloor with a six to seven-inch reinforced concrete deck. The railings of the bridge consist of 6×6 inches redwood posts, and the substructure has timber bent caps on timber columns supported by reinforced concrete footings.
Sensitive Environmental Setting
County officials said the project site is located in an environmentally sensitive area. The bridge is a unique high wooden structure that provides an ideal roosting space for a large colony of migratory bats. The bridge’s thermal mass dampens temperature variations, offering warmer evening temperatures for night roosting and cooler summer temperatures for day roosting. There are roughly 60,000 bats living under the bridge. This colony of bats is considered one of the largest in all of Northern California.
Watch the YouTube video below to learn about the Franklin Boulevard Bridge closure and its detours.
Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento personal injury attorney. If you have been in a recent car accident in Sacramento or elsewhere in Sacramento County and suffered serious injuries, we can help. Call our experienced legal team for free, friendly advice at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400. You can also contact us online at AutoAccident.com.
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Photo by Forsaken Films on Unsplash
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