Recap - November 2019 Lunch Program
On November 6, WTS Sacramento welcomed Jesse Gothan, City of Sacramento to talk about the I Street Bridge Replacement Project. Jesse started by talking about the background and purpose of the project, which is to "construct a new bridge over the Sacramento River between the cities of Sacramento and West Sacramento to replace the vehicle crossing that is currently provided by the existing I Street Bridge." The existing I Street Bridge is double decker bridge that services rail travel on the lower deck and vehicle and pedestrian travel on the top deck. The existing bridge consists of two 9-foot lanes, no shoulder, and 4-foot sidewalks. Jesse also reviewed the history of river crossings along the Sacramento River and in the project area. Why does the new bridge have to be movable some might ask, well the reason is that the United States Coast Guard holds right of way in the Sacramento River, and they determine the clearances that are needed in the river. Large barges need to be able to travel up river for many reasons, including emergency levee repair. With input from the United State Coast Guard, the opening width needed for the new replacement bridge is 278 feet, which is almost double the opening of the existing I Street Bridge. The optimal movable bridge type for that span opening is a lift bridge, which was selected for the project.
Jesse then reviewed what improvements are being included with the project. The new bridge will connect C Street in West Sacramento to Railyards Boulevard in Sacramento. The bridge cross section will include three 12-foot lanes, 8-foot shoulders/buffer bike lanes, and 12-foot sidewalks on both sides of the bridge. The project includes modifications to the existing Sacramento River Trail in Sacramento and accommodates the future trail extension in West Sacramento. Levee improvements are also proposed in West Sacramento. The viaduct structures that lead up to the top deck of the I Street Bridge will be demolished.
There were many environmental considerations for this project, but Jesse highlighted one. There are currently three pairs of purple martins nesting in the I/J Street viaduct structures. In order to entice them to move before construction, the City of Sacramento installed bird boxes earlier this year.
At the beginning of 2019, the team hired an architect to develop concepts and help with community outreach. Jesse handed the presentation over to Gladys Cornell from AIM Consulting to talk about the community outreach process. Gladys discussed the three community workshops that were held to obtain feedback from the community and inform the public in the design process. Each community meeting was very well attended with 180+ people at each event. Online workshops were also held for those who were unable to provide their feedback in person. Online responses totaling in over 2,000 responses were received. At Community Workshop 1, nine concepts were presented. From those nine concepts, four moved forward and were further developed for Community Workshop 2. After the second workshop, the four concepts were reduced to two. At Community Workshop 3, the final two concepts were presented.
Gladys handed the presentation to Kira Davis from Mark Thomas to talk about project costs. Ever present in the process was the need to understand the cost implications of the different aesthetic design concepts. The team developed engineers estimates for the final four concepts to understand the funding gaps between each of the concepts. The goals of developing the cost estimates was to establish a high degree of confidence in the estimates. Since $158 million is currently programmed for the project, two of the concepts had an unfunded amount of over $100 million, the selection panel recognized the funding gap and opted to further develop the Thru and the Spring.
Kira then passed the presentation to Noel Shamble from T.Y. Lin International to talk about the final two design concepts. Noel presented the two versions of the Thru design and the two versions of the Spring design (see below).
Jesse finished the I Street Bridge Replacement project presentation with reviewing the project schedule, next year will be dedicated to design, with the project planned to go to construction in 2021.
Jason McCoy with the City of West Sacramento also spoke about a related project. The I Street Deck Conversion Project is a project to re-purpose the top deck of the existing I Street Bridge for bicycles and pedestrians. New approaches would be constructed and the top deck of the I Street Bridge would be improved with standard railings.
Thank you to Jesse and the project team for this presentation on the I Street Bridge Replacement Project!