The M Street and G Street bridges won’t be closed while they are undergoing repairs during the next seven months. One lane will always be open in each direction for traffic and only one bridge will be worked on at a time.
“We wanted to make this as easy on people as we could, realizing that it was going to be inconvenient,” said Assistant City Manager Stephanie Dietz. “However, it is essential that we repair these bridges because they have experienced a great deal of deterioration over the years. Both bridges are safe, they just need repairs now.”
All of the work is scheduled to be completed by October. Work on the M Street Bridge will begin on Monday, April 3 and continue for approximately four months. Build in 1973, the asphalt concrete overlay on the bridge is cracked, settled and uneven and needs to be completely removed. A polyester concrete overlay will replace it to protect the bridge.
The existing sidewalks and curbs are beyond repair and need complete replacement. The planters need to be removed and replaced with traffic-rated barriers. Beneath the bridge erosion control and other rehab measures will be undertaken to keep the bridge in place.
The G Street bridge work is scheduled to begin in August and will last approximately two months. Damage to this bridge is not as extensive as M Street. The bridge deck will get repaired, but the sidewalks and curbs don’t need replacing. It also doesn’t need the erosion control work.
When M Street is completed 10 American flags will line the sides of the bridge in honor of the American veterans. In 2000 the City Council named the M Street Bridge “Merced Veterans Memorial Bridge” to honor the city’s war veterans. Last year the Council added the name “Veterans Boulevard” to the entire length of M Street in honor of the City veterans.
The City received a $3.7 million state Bridge Preventive Maintenance Program grant for the repairs. The contract was awarded to Viking Construction of Rancho Cordova.
In stage 1 (April to early June), the north side of the N. Bear Creek at M Street will be closed.
In stage 2, (early June to mid-August), the south side of the N. Bear Creek at M Street will be closed. The contractor will work to minimize the closures on south side of the N. Bear Creek at M Street and allow right turns out from the Bear Creek Inn.
Traffic signal timing along M and G streets will be adjusted to optimize traffic flow. Light boards and detour signs will be posted to keep drivers informed. Staff has reached out to neighbors and told them about the project.
The project will require a staging area for the contractor’s material and equipment at a portion of the Applegate Park driveway at the entrance to M Street. In addition, the Michael Sullivan Bike Path at M and G Street will also require closure to bicyclists and pedestrians during construction for safety.
Staging for the G Street bridge work will be at the end of 27th Street and So. Creek Creek Drive and not affect the flow of traffic.
Updates on the bridge work will be available on the City’s website, www.CityofMerced.org, the City’s Facebook, The Streets of Merced, and on the City’s Twitter, Merced City Hall.