SAN DIEGO, California – Kleinfelder joined the City of Chula Vista and California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) for the Willow Street Bridge ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the completion of the $16 million bridge replacement project over the Sweetwater River in Chula Vista, California.

As the prime consultant for the project, Kleinfelder was responsible for providing project management, bridge planning, design engineering, and environmental documents for the replacement of the 610-foot-long Willow Street Bridge that was originally constructed in 1940.  The project was 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, given that the bridge was constructed over 75 years ago and the capacity was insufficient for future needs, Kleinfelder and the City were able to successfully gain Caltrans’ approval and funding for a replacement bridge.

Two elements most critical to the design of the replacement bridge were the biological studies and hydraulic analysis. The biological studies identified several environmentally sensitive areas located within the footprint of the project impact area, requiring modifications to the bridge design and mitigation of the impacts during construction.  For the hydraulic analysis, Kleinfelder evaluated the project using Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) flow rates and Caltrans guidelines to ensure the bridge would withstand major flood events with adequate freeboard and scour provisions.

In addition, Kleinfelder sought to increase the bridge’s function, since the existing bridge lacked bicycle lanes and a proper sidewalk, inhibiting alternative means of travel/transportation. Kleinfelder designed the replacement bridge to include 8-foot-wide Class II bicycle lanes and 5.5-foot-wide sidewalks on each side of the bridge to comply with the City of Chula Vista’s standards and ADA requirements.   It also accommodates an adjacent jogging trial and an equestrian crossing below the bridge as part of a regional trail system.

A few statements mentioned in the ribbon cutting ceremony summarized the project, “What a great accomplishment!” and recognized “key people who helped get this beautiful bridge built.”

“I’m very proud of the work the City of Chula Vista and Kleinfelder accomplished together,” stated Jim Frost, Kleinfelder Project Manager for Willow Street Bridge. “Approximately 15,000 commuters travel on Willow Street Bridge every day along with bicyclists and recreational trail users. 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.”