San Diego, CA – The American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) of California recognized the City of Chula Vista (City) and primary design consultant Kleinfelder with an Engineering Excellence Merit Award for the Willow Street Bridge Replacement Project. The project was praised for providing the local community with a structurally-sound bridge that alleviated traffic, added alternative modes of travel along the bridge, and increased the safety of all bridge users.
Replacing the original two-lane bridge, which was constructed in 1940, required mindful planning. The project was initially funded as a rehabilitation project under the Federal Highway Bridge Program due to the bridge’s sufficiency rating of 65 (ratings above 50 typically result in rehabilitation). However, through a series of studies, the City and Kleinfelder determined it was not practical to rehabilitate the bridge and successfully gained Caltrans’ approval and funding for a replacement bridge.
Innovative design solutions and flexible approaches were applied to comply with environmental regulations, address challenging site geology and complex hydraulic requirements, and accommodate evolving design criteria. Several social considerations were also accounted for when designing the bridge, such as accommodating multiple modes of transportation, enhancing safety and public access to trails and roadways, and reducing the impact of construction on commuters.
With the goal of increasing the bridge’s functionality and safety for all travelers, the replacement bridge was designed to include 8-foot-wide Class II bicycle lanes and 5.5-foot-wide ADA compliant sidewalks on each side of the bridge. The design also accommodates an adjacent multi-use trial and an equestrian crossing below the bridge as part of a regional trail system. The ability to withstand 50-year and 100-year flood events was also incorporated into the design, increasing the longevity of the bridge.
The thoughtful design of the replacement bridge safely accommodates all travelers, whether by car, horse, bike or foot, and will meet the community’s transportation needs for many decades to come.