Town Of Moraga

Canyon Road Bridge Replacement Project

Project Background:

The Canyon Road bridge over the West Branch of San Leandro Creek (also called Moraga Creek) is located within the Town of Moraga, just south of Constance Place and north of the Contra Costa County line. The bridge was originally constructed in 1936, is approximately 104 feet long, 24 feet wide and carries two lanes of traffic. The existing bridge is structurally deficient with a sufficiency rating of 48.8. A sufficiency rating of less than 50 qualifies a bridge for replacement according to the funding guidelines for the Federal Highway Bridge Program. The existing concrete deck is heavily abraded, rough, uneven throughout with spalling at the joints, and has pattern cracks throughout. Several of the wooden bridge railings and posts are broken and rotten. The existing bridge geometry is a safety issue for bicyclists and pedestrians who use the bridge to access a heavily used bike/pedestrian trail, the Lafayette-Moraga Regional Trail (maintained by East Bay Regional Park District), that serves recreational cyclists as well as nearby residents that walk to Joaquin Moraga Intermediate School adjacent to the northeast approach to the bridge.

Project Description:

The Town proposes to replace the existing bridge with a new clear-span bridge, approximately 120 feet long and 48 feet wide. The new bridge will accommodate two 12-foot travel lanes and two 8-foot wide shoulders on both sides, serving as bike lanes, and one 5-foot wide sidewalk to accommodate pedestrians on the west side of the bridge. 

As the bridge replacement will occur on the same alignment as the existing bridge, bridge construction will be staged in order to maintain public and emergency vehicle access across the creek. With staged construction, a portion of the existing bridge would be demolished while a portion of the new bridge would be constructed. Vehicles will be required to cross the bridge one-direction-at-a-time with temporary traffic signals at each end. With completion of the first stage of the new bridge, vehicles would be shifted to the new bridge, and then the remaining portions of the old, existing bridge would be demolished and the second half of the new bridge would be constructed. The alternative to staged construction would be to close the road, remove the bridge completely, and construct the new bridge all at once, with the advantage of construction being completed in a shorter timeframe. The alternative would cause an inconvenience to motorists and emergency responders as the shortest available detour route is over 13 miles long.

Project Status:

In May 2013, the Town submitted an application for Federal Highway Bridge Program funding for the bridge replacement and was approved. Following approval from Caltrans, the Town retained a civil engineering consulting firm to provide design, surveying, geotechnical engineering, environmental, and right of way services to the Town. In October 2013, the Town Council awarded a contract to NV5 to provide these services. In January 2014, the Town, NV5, and Caltrans conducted a Field Review, as required by Caltrans Local Assistance, who administers the Federal Highway Bridge Program. The next step will be for the consultant team to conduct various environmental and biological studies to satisfy the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Concurrently, the engineering design team will conduct surveys, perform traffic analysis of temporary impacts during construction, conduct geotechnical investigations, and determine right of way needs. 

In May 2014, the Town received the Authorization to Proceed with the Preliminary Engineering phase of the design and NV5 has been hard at work on the preliminary analysis, design and studies needed to identify project impacts to be assessed during the environmental process. The Town held an Agency Stakeholder Meeting on July 23. All affected agencies, departments, and utilities were invited to attend the meeting for a discussion with the Town’s Public Works staff and NV5 to learn about the project and its temporary and permanent impacts on the affected agency’s facilities and services.

The Town consulting engineer, NV5, incorporated the comments and requirements from all affected agencies into a preliminary plan that was presented at a Town Hall-style Community Meeting on October 15, 2014 at 6:00 p.m. 

A second Community Meeting will be held on January 20, 2015 at 6:00 p.m. to present a revised conceptual plan addressing the concerns received at the first meeting. Residents of Moraga and the unincorporated community of Canyon, along with commuters and trail users are invited to attend to learn about the project and what to expect during the construction.

A third and final community outreach meeting is anticipated prior to the start of construction to inform the community of the plan for construction staging and to introduce the construction management team, who will be on-site during construction and available for any questions throughout the duration of the project while in construction. Construction is currently scheduled for 2018.

Community Meetings:

January 20, 2015

October 15, 2014

Questions and Answers October 31, 2014:

Response to comments received at Community Meeting held on October 15, 2014 and additional comments received through October 27, 2014. Click here for Q&A response.