A Bridge to Somewhere

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Spearheaded by Caltrans and MCM Construction as part of a unique design-build project, the construction of a maximum 58-foot high, single-lane connector bridge over the I-10/I-605 interchange in the San Gabriel Valley is speeding ahead.  The connector will improve motorists’ transition from the southbound San Gabriel River I-605 Freeway to the eastbound San Bernardino I-10 Freeway. This resulting gain for motorists will be improved traffic flow, reduced commuter delays due to merging traffic, and the improved movement of goods throughout the region.

Progress to Date: Construction started in earnest in the fall of 2013, with building of retaining walls and ground clearing for the connector. By late fall 2013, a westbound I-10 new connector ramp was completed and 8 columns, each 7 feet in diameter, were erected in preparation for bridge construction. This past winter and spring saw the installation of steel and wood false-work and formwork in preparation for the construction of the cast-in-place concrete bridge.

Next Steps: Bridge building will continue through the summer and fall of 2014.

Currently, new columns and bridge foundations are being constructed at the Frazier off-ramp area along Eastbound I-10; this foundation construction will continue through summer 2014. The relocation of critical utility lines will begin soon just south of I-10 in the City of Baldwin Park to make room for the extension of this south-east connector structure.

Interesting Facts:

• The Connector is approximately 4,000 feet long, or the length of 5 bridges which are each typically 800 feet long

• During peak hours, up to 4,000 vehicles ph use the interchange’s connecting lanes

• Electrical transmission towers which had crossed over the I-10 provide Southland Communities with critical power had to be raised; poles to suspend electrical conductors are now nearly 200 feet high in order to clear the bridge

The Connector construction’s high visibility in the region has resulted in some very positive feedback from the area’s constituents, including a feature article in 3 daily newspapers praising the project.  Additionally, a dedicated Facebook page, (www.facebook.com/10605directconnector), with 2,500 followers, provides up-to-date with photos of construction, advance closure alerts, and responses to individual questions.

The good news for area motorists is that all lane closures for the project have taken place overnight to allow drivers safe and easy passage during peak traffic hours.

When finished in fall 2015, the Direct Connector will boast a 30-foot-wide single lane connector with a 5-foot left shoulder and a 10-foot right shoulder.

The Design-Build concept allows for improved coordination between the Designer / Contractor and the State Department of Transportation, setting up better constructability, higher efficiency, and earlier completion.

We ask those driving in the area to please be patient

and to slow for the cone zone!