Town Of Moraga

Canyon Road Bridge Closure

The Town is offering this page for all interested parties to provide available information related to the unfortunate closure of the Canyon Road Bridge that was ordered on Tuesday, April 18, 2017. In addition to the initial explanation of what has happened as shown below, all current and future staff reports and accompanying attachments will be posted on this page until the bridge is reopened. Please be patient until the bridge closure is resolved and know that the Town is committed to get the bridge reopened as soon as it can safely be accomplished and that it will be done in a fiscally responsible manner. All comments, questions, or concerns should be directed to Bob Priebe, the Town Manager at priebe@moraga.ca.us.

What Happened

On Monday April 17, 2017, Town staff was notified by EBMUD that their engineers had observed conditions that may affect the Canyon Road Bridge. Town staff responded to the bridge and saw a separation of the pavement from the south side of the bridge and soil movement away from a cement abutment at the southeast corner of the bridge. On the west side of the bridge staff noted soil separation from the paved trail toward the creek as well as cracking in the trail on both sides with a crack traversing the trail. Staff notified the Town’s on-call geotechnical consultant who responded the next morning and found the conditions noted on Monday had worsened and noted one of the support beams under the southwest corner of the bridge had been compromised. The consultants determined the damage had occurred due to active land movement from the hill above the trail area into and around the bridge location. Given the damage to the bridge support and the active land movement into it, consultants recommended closing the bridge to all vehicular, bicycle, and pedestrian traffic. The bridge was closed at 7 PM on Tuesday, April 18, 2017, and will remain closed until the land movement is stabilized to allow either the safe repair of the existing bridge structure or the safe installation of a temporary bridge. All possibilities are being examined and any action taken to re-open the bridge will be determined by the conditions of the land movement. At his time, if either the repair or placement of a temporary bridge occurs, it is anticipated that only a single lane will be open.
For a comprehensive explanation of the chronology of events associated with the bridge closure, including efforts made by all government agencies to address the emergency response needs of the Canyon community, please see the April 27, 2017 staff report and attached PowerPoint presentations.

Press Releases

Canyon Road Bridge Update - June 9, 2017

Final fieldwork and analysis has been completed to make a formal presentation and recommendation to the Moraga Town Council on June 14, 2017 at 7:00 pm, in the Council Chambers at 335 Rheem Boulevard, regarding alternatives for re-opening the bridge. The presentation from staff will include a summary of all different alternatives and aspects of the bridge re-opening project, and among other things, information on anticipated costs and potential funding sources. The cost descriptions will include relocating existing utilities, demolishing the existing damaged bridge, installing bridge foundations, drilling 50’ deep piers on the west side of the bridge to protect it from the landslide, erecting temporary traffic signals to operate one lane of traffic, installing required creek protection, and providing engineering and construction management services to implement all required work. The staff report and attachments are available to the public on the Town’s website.
Anyone interested in learning more about the status of the bridge reopening can either attend or watch LiveStream video of the Council Meeting

Canyon Road Bridge Update - June 1, 2017

On May 30, 2017, the Town received correspondence from the Canyon School District which included a press release and a copy of a “Proclamation of a Local Emergency Within Canyon School District.” Both documents (available on the Canyon Road Bridge webpage) contain gross misstatements of fact and are not supportive of the work the Town of Moraga is trying to accomplish. The Town wants everyone in all affected communities, but especially in the community of Canyon, to understand that the Town of Moraga, since the initial date of April 17, 2017, when the Town first became aware of potential damage to the Canyon Road Bridge, has hired and worked with state licensed and certified engineers and consultants to assess the condition of the bridge, to determine the need to close the bridge to protect the public, to determine what caused the damage to the bridge, and to plan the best course of action to re-open the bridge as quickly as possible. The Town is considering spending more than $2 million to attempt to re-open the bridge in the short term only because the Town is concerned for and cares about the community of Canyon. If there were no residents in Canyon, the Town might let the bridge remain closed until the bridge replacement project could begin, which would be late in 2018 at the soonest. Any suggestion by the Canyon School District that the Town is not doing everything it can to get the bridge re-opened is blatantly false and counterproductive to the mission at hand. Final fieldwork and analysis is being completed to make a formal presentation and recommendation to the Moraga Town Council on June 14, 2017 at 7:00 pm, in the Council Chambers at 335 Rheem Boulevard, regarding options for re-opening the bridge. The presentation from staff will include a summary of all different options and aspects of the bridge re-opening project, and among other things, information on anticipated costs and potential funding sources. The cost descriptions will include relocating existing utilities, demolishing the existing damaged bridge, installing bridge foundations, drilling 50’ deep piers on the west side of the bridge to protect it from the moving landslide, erecting temporary traffic signals to operate one lane of traffic, installing required creek protection, and providing engineering and construction management services to implement all required work. The staff report and attachments will be available to the public on the Town’s website on Friday evening, June 9, 2017. Anyone interested in learning more about the status of the bridge reopening can either attend or watch LiveStream video of the Council Meeting.

Canyon Road Bridge Update - May 25, 2017

On June 14, 2017, at 7:00 pm at the regularly scheduled Town Council meeting, staff will be presenting possible options for reopening the Canyon Road Bridge detailing associated costs, scheduling and any potential impacts to permanent bridge replacement. Anyone interested in learning more about the status of the bridge reopening can either attend or watch LiveStream video of the Council Meeting.
Staff continues to pursue grant reimbursement funding for the emergency bridge reopening from: 1) Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) (administered through the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans)) and 2) Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) (administered through the California Office of Emergency Services (OES)). The approval process is very lengthy and funding would be on a reimbursement basis, as their respective program funding becomes available (could be years later) to pay a portion of the Town eligible expenses. It is important to note that the Town would be responsible for the upfront bridge reopening.
The Town received Caltrans’ initial review comments for our FHWA Emergency Relief program application. Staff is preparing requested responses and supporting documentation. Staff will meet separately with FEMA and OES staff to discuss the Town’s FEMA emergency grant funding application.
Separately, Caltrans’ Environmental Division has nearly finalized the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) permitting requirements for the permanent bridge replacement project. Caltrans has agreed to work with all parties involved in their Federal environmental process to modify the project scope to include the work of the emergency opening of the bridge, saving valuable time. The Town will still need to obtain separate environmental permitting for the bridge reopening work from five other Federal, State and local environmental agencies.
The bridge reopening timeline is yet to be determined, but could still take months to get all permits approved; stabilization work completed; the existing bridge demolished; and a temporary bridge purchased, delivered, and built. Please visit the Canyon Road Bridge webpage for the latest information. The Town will continue to keep the public informed with updates posted on the Town website and disseminated via Nixle, NextDoor and About Town. Thank you for your continued patience.

Canyon Road Bridge Update - May 18, 2017

The Canyon Road Bridge continues to be closed to all traffic. Please use alternate routes. The Town will continue to provide information and updates as they become available.
Engineers have installed additional inclinometers around the bridge to measure adjacent land movement and determine area and depth of the landslide. Additionally, the Town recently finalized an agreement with EBMUD to share inclinometer data to get a broader perspective of the movement in the area. Based on current information, the most viable option is to remove the existing bridge (still in the path of the slowly moving landslide) and construct a temporary 160’ one-lane, free-standing bridge to span over the landslide area. The temporary bridge will need 50 foot deep foundations on the west side of the Moraga Creek to protect the bridge against future land movement. The initial estimate for design, purchase, and installation of a temporary bridge is $2.6 million. The Town continues to research all options that will accomplish the goal, but at a lower cost. The Town has contacted other California jurisdictions to see if a long-span bridge that meets the length and alignment requirements is available to borrow, rent, or buy to reduce costs.
The Town has submitted requests for emergency funding to two sources: 1) Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) (administered through the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans)) and 2) Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) (administered through the California Office of Emergency Services). These applications are being evaluated to see if the Town qualifies for any emergency opening and repair funding grants. The Town’s application to Caltrans has been approved and has been forwarded to FHWA (funding source) for project scope approval. If FHWA approves the project scope then a field meeting will be scheduled to develop detailed scope and funding amount for the project. On a parallel track, staff is meeting with FEMA’s emergency disaster representatives to review the Town’s submitted funding application. The Town has also submitted an insurance claim that could partially fund the replacement if no other outside funding is received.
The bridge reopening timeline is yet to be determined, but could still take months to get all permits approved; stabilization work completed; the existing bridge demolished; and a temporary bridge purchased, delivered, and built. The Town will continue to keep the public informed with updates posted on the Town website and disseminated via Nixle, NextDoor and About Town. Thank you for your continued patience.

Canyon Road Bridge Update - May 11, 2017

The Canyon Road Bridge continues to be closed to all traffic. Please use alternate routes. The Town will continue to provide information and updates as they become available.
The Canyon Road Bridge re-opening project has been taken over by Edric Kwan, the Town’s Public Works Director. Edric is working with Town staff and consultants to address all of the issues related to re-opening the bridge. The option staff is currently exploring to present to the Town Council is to remove the existing bridge and construct a temporary 160’ one-lane, free standing bridge. The temporary bridge would be located in a position that would allow a new permanent bridge to be constructed east of the temporary bridge.
The initial estimate for design, purchase and installation of a temporary bridge is $2.6 million. The Town continues to research all options that will accomplish the goal, but at lower cost. The Town has submitted a request for emergency funding through Caltrans and the California Office of Emergency Services. The request is being evaluated to see if the Town qualifies for any funding programs. If approved, funds will pay for a portion of the total cost, but as in the case with the sinkhole, the Town will have to pay upfront costs and wait for reimbursement. The Town has also submitted a claim to the Town’s insurance carrier, who is making their assessment of damage and potential coverage. The Town’s policy requires a $500,000 deductible with a maximum coverage of $2 million in property loss. Staff recommendations on a temporary bridge or other options will be presented to the Town Council at a public meeting for their approval and authorization of funding.
The timeline is still being developed, and is subject to change based on the ongoing consideration of all options, but it could take months to get all permits and approvals; stabilization work completed; removal of the existing bridge; and a temporary bridge purchased, delivered, and built. The Town will continue to keep the public informed at least weekly, with updates posted on the Town website and disseminated via Nixle, NextDoor and About Town.

Canyon Road Bridge Update - May 4, 2017

The Canyon Road Bridge continues to be closed to all traffic. Please use alternate routes.
A special Town Council meeting was held on Thursday April 27, 2017 to provide an update on the bridge closure, declare a local emergency, and authorize an initial amount of $500,000 to reopen the road. The Moraga-Orinda Fire District provided an update on how to maintain emergency services for the community of Canyon and surrounding areas. Town staff and their team of engineers, including geotechnical and structural engineers, provided a briefing on the detrimental structural impacts to the bridge from the adjacent landslide, which necessitated the closure based on public safety considerations. The meeting was live-streamed and a recorded copy can be accessed via the Town's website.
Town bridge and geotechnical engineers have installed slope inclinometers to measure lateral movement of the adjacent landslide. They have determined that the slide is significant and relatively deep near the bridge, up to 28 feet below the ground. The slope inclinometer readings over this last week continue to show additional land movement pushing into the bridge. With this information, the bridge engineers have developed potential options to: 1) stabilize the slide and existing bridge; or 2) remove the existing bridge and replace with a specialized manufactured temporary bridge. In both cases, below ground deep pilings will need to be designed to protect the bridge by resisting future land movement. Next week, the bridge engineers will prepare a preliminary construction cost estimate and schedule for reopening the road.
The Town continues to publicize this bridge closure through media outlets and electronic resources, advise bicycle user groups through list serves, and request that traffic apps and maps reflect the closure. Please help spread the word by passing this information to anyone you know who may travel through the area. The Town will continue to provide information and updates as they become available. Please visit the Canyon Road Bridge webpage for more information. Thank you for your patience as the Town continues its efforts to reopen the bridge.

Town Hall Meeting on Canyon Road Bridge Closure - April 27, 2017

On Thursday, April 27, a special Town Council meeting was held to take formal action to declare a local emergency and to appropriate an initial $500,000 to fund the investigative and initial work phase to reopen the Canyon Road Bridge in some manner. Land movement into the structure of the bridge necessitated closure of the bridge on Tuesday, April 18. A geotechnical team has been working continually since that date to gather data on the land movement and to prepare a plan and cost estimate to stabilize the area which is critical to either repair the existing bridge structure or install a temporary bridge. At the special meeting, (see meeting on Livestream) staff reported on the chronology of events associated with the bridge closure with a presentation of photos by the geotechnical team; the emergency response plans for service to Canyon, including a presentation by MOFD Chief Healy; and the response of government agencies to the needs of the Canyon community. The special meeting was well attended and several members of the public gave their observations and concerns to the Council for consideration. Please be mindful and remind friends and neighbors that Canyon Road remains closed between Constance Place and the EBMUD Valle Vista Staging Area. The closure applies to motor vehicles, bicycles, horses and pedestrians and violators will be cited. Please be patient and avoid the area until the bridge can be reopened. Thank you for your cooperation.

Canyon Road Bridge Update - April 24, 2017

Canyon Road, between Constance Place and the Valle Vista Staging Area, remains closed due to structural issues with the bridge. The road is closed to ALL TRAFFIC - motor vehicles, bicycles, horses and pedestrians. Please do not access the closed area as violators will be cited.
The Town will be holding a public meeting to discuss the road and bridge closure on Thursday April 27, 2017, 6:00 p.m., in the Council Chambers at 335 Rheem Boulevard. The meeting will also be live-streamed, which can be accessed via the Town's website and allows people to watch from home.
The Town has a team of engineers, including geotechnical and structural engineers, who are studying the issues and working to come up with a solution. The structural integrity of the current bridge is being affected by earth movement. Although the bridge looks normal and has been functioning as designed, this earth movement is causing problems and adversely affecting the support structure under the bridge. If this continues to occur or if there is a rapid earth movement, the bridge can fail without warning and anyone on or around the bridge would be in danger. When the Town was advised of this risk to public safety, the bridge was closed.
The Town has publicized this closure through media outlets and electronic resources, advised bicycle user groups and has requested that traffic apps and maps reflect the closure. Please help us spread the word by passing this information to anyone you know who may travel through the area. The Town will continue to provide information and updates as they are available. Thank you for your patience as the Town continues to work to identify the cause of this issue and develop the best solution for all involved.

Canyon Road Bridge Closure - April 18, 2017

The Canyon Road bridge that connects Moraga with the community of Canyon and the Redwood Canyon area, will be closed at 7:00 p.m. tonight (Tuesday, April 18) for an indefinite period of time. The bridge will be closed to all traffic, including vehicular, bicycle and pedestrian.
Canyon Road will be closed between Constance Place in Moraga and the EBMUD Valle Vista Staging area. Commute traffic between Moraga and Oakland will be affected.
The area around the bridge was checked by geotechnical engineers due to a nearby land slide and earth movement. Both the geotechnical engineers and structural engineers determined that the bridge has suffered structural damage as a result of the earth movement and recommended closure due to the danger of collapse.
The Town is coordinating with the Moraga-Orinda Fire District and other agencies to finalize the contingency plan for emergency responses into the community of Canyon.
The Town will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as needed.

 

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