Drivers can expect some traffic disruptions on M and G streets beginning in April, when a contractor will start work on the bridges over Bear Creek, according to city staffers.
Work to rehabilitate the bridges will be ongoing until October, according to plans. Theron Roschen, an engineer with the city of Merced, assured residents that work on the two bridges will not happen at the same time.
“We were smart. We said we’d only do one bridge at a time, disrupting traffic,” he said.
The city is using $3.7 million in state grant funding to pay for the work, he said. The City Council awarded a bridge work contract to Viking Construction Co. and a services contract to Quincy Engineering Inc., both of Rancho Cordova, in February.
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We have bats that have colonized the G Street bridge along with cliff swallows, which are a protected species.
Theron Roschen, an engineer with the city of Merced
The work to be done on each bridge, which pass over Bear Creek, includes rehabilitation of the structures, the creek channel and the roadways, records show.
Some related work began this week. “We have bats that have colonized the G Street bridge along with cliff swallows, which are a protected species,” Roschen said. “So we’re doing some remediation to protect them.”
Bike paths under each bridge won’t be usable during some of the construction, he said, and a portion of Applegate Park will be used to park construction equipment.
$3.7 millionThe amount of state grant funding to pay for work
The M Street bridge, which officially is called the Veterans Memorial Bridge, went up in 1973, according to city spokesman Mike Conway. That bridge needs more extensive work, including “armoring” the riverbank with rocks to reduce erosion, he said.
The bridge on G Street dates to 1964, Conway said.
Plans include decorative light fixtures across the M Street structure and new flagpoles. Light fixtures under both bridges for the bike path below will be repaired, records show.
The G Street construction work will temporarily close a portion of 28th Street, according to plans.