Members of the public are invited to a Public Information Meeting on Thursday, Jan. 26 to visit exhibits and discuss the retrofit planned for the San Joaquin River Bridge at Hills Ferry (River Road) with members of the Stanislaus County Public Works Department and other members of the project team.
The meeting will be held from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on at the City of Newman Community Meeting Room, 1200 Main St., Newman. A brief presentation will be made at 6:30 p.m. to explain the project history, what studies are underway, and additional tasks that must be completed before construction begins.
Since its construction in the 1960s, the San Joaquin River Bridge at Hills Ferry (River Road), also known as the Hills Ferry Bridge, has provided a vital link between the counties of Stanislaus and Merced. The current average daily traffic using this bridge is more than 4,471 vehicles and is predicted to grow to nearly 8,000 vehicles a day by 2040.
The bridge is not eligible for any special historical status or designation.
Engineering experts have determined that the bridge is susceptible to major structural damage or collapse during a major earthquake. Consequently, engineering planning and environmental studies are underway for the seismic retrofit of the existing bridge. The Stanislaus County Department of Public Works is developing plans that will meet two key project requirements: maintain public safety on the existing bridge during and after an earthquake, and provide long-term, safe vehicular access across the San Joaquin River.
The project is now in the preliminary engineering environmental phase. Following completion of these phases, the seismic retrofit project will go through final engineering design with construction tentatively scheduled to begin in 2020. Advance notice of all construction activity will be coordinated with nearby property owners and key stakeholders before work begins.
For more information, members of the public are welcome to call the Project Hotline at (209) 464-4350, Extension 1, or send an email to Hotline@buethepr.com. They are also welcome to mail written comments and inquiries about the project to Public Outreach Coordinator, San Joaquin River Bridge at Hills Ferry, P.O. Box 4436, Stockton, CA 95204.