By Crystal Crawford
Mayor, Del Mar
When the city of Del Mar accepted the project and the right-of-way to take the lead on its seismic retrofit and rehabilitation of the North Torrey Pines Bridge, the project was 100 percent funded by both the State and Federal Highway Administration.
Soon after design began on the project seismic retrofit project, the state matching fund program for the project was discontinued, which required the city to contribute a portion of the project's design costs, which includes engineering, testing and research.
The design phase was funded 80 percent with Federal Highway Funds and 20 percent with city funds. The final project will cost about $37 million.
Both the state and the federal Highway Administration fully support retrofit and preservation of the existing bridge and will fund 100 percent of the construction costs.
This nationally recognized historic structure is now about to undergo significant renovation and restorations protecting it from earthquakes and preserving it for a minimum of another 50 years.
The project includes replacing the entire top deck of the bridge through many stages of construction. Except for a few nighttime closures, the bridge will remain open to two-way vehicular and bicycle traffic during construction.
The final construction will mirror what you see today with the same width and lane configuration as the existing bridge. All repairs will be made such that the existing character is maintained (the historic look of the board formed concrete finish).
The bridge is located in areas of sensitive habitat and contractors working on the project will be required to minimize impacts to the habitat and to minimize noise impacts, which affect both wildlife and nearby residents.
The project has completed environmental reviews, including those required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), which is the federal environmental process, and the State's process, which is referred to as the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).
The project is almost ready to begin construction. The city is holding a workshop to share the current plans for the project prior to sending out requests for bids from contractors.
Staff will have exhibits and consultants on hand on Thursday, Sept. 10, from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. at the City Hall Annex (located behind City Hall at 235 11th St.).
The public is invited to come celebrate the culmination of many years of City Council action, citizen involvement, and hard work by our local staff, consultant team, and the staffs of Caltrans and the Federal Highway Administration in preparing plans to save this historic structure for generations to come.