The final frame of the Fifth Street Bridge is currently under construction with the entire project scheduled to be completed by the end of summer 2020, according to project manager Mehrdad Varzandeh.
The north side of the new bridge is completed with traffic traveling one-lane both east and west. Two thirds of the south side of the bridge, which will carry eastbound traffic once completed, is completed but still needs to be grooved and striped to handle traffic.
The final third of the south side of the bridge is under construction with the deck expected to be laid before the end of 2019, Varzandeh said. Once the concrete is laid, grooves have to be added and the concrete has to be stressed so it can take the weight of traffic.
The deck also has to be laid for the smaller Second Street Bridge that will connect with the new Fifth Street Bridge at the project’s conclusion.
Once complete, the bridge will carry cars in four lanes, two heading east and two heading west. Roadwork on the Yuba City and Marysville sides of the bridge are also being completed as well as landscaping to place trees and plants around the bridge.
The other aspect of the project is the demolition of the old Fifth Street Bridge that was one lane each way. The majority of the old bridge has been demolished except for a section that is over Feather River.
“Demolition usually is easier than building stuff,” Varzandeh said.
Because the remaining section of the old bridge is over water, crews can only work from June 1 to Oct. 1 in order to not disturb the fish that pass through the river. Any demolition work on the remaining section must be done without touching the water.
“This has to be a controlled demolition,” Varzandeh said. “Which means nothing goes in the water.”
The demolition could also be slowed down if rain and the amount of water released from the Oroville Dam raises the Feather River above where a temporary platform has been set up.
Despite not being able to touch water until June of next year, Varzandeh said the deck of the old bridge is scheduled to be removed before the end of the year and the columns will be lowered, weather and water level permitting.
To help traffic on Bridge Street, by the end of the day Monday, the eastbound on-ramp onto the new Fifth Street Bridge was opened for cars to use after stripes and arrows were added to the road during the day Monday.
Varzandeh said that having to accommodate traffic during the entire construction process has slowed down progress and has meant juggling a lot of moving parts along with just construction.