Carpenter Road bridge to be closed this weekend

kvaline@modbee.comAugust 19, 2013 

  • ABOUT THE REPORTER
    alternate text Kevin Valine
    Title: Reporter
    Coverage areas: City of Modesto and nonprofits
    Bio: Kevin Valine has been a copy editor and reporter at The Bee since January 2006. He's worked at the Reno Gazette-Journal, Sarasota (Fla.) Herald-Tribune and Paradise Post as a reporter and copy editor. He's a graduate of San Jose State.
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— The Carpenter Road bridge, which serves as a main connector between Modesto and western Stanislaus County, will be closed this weekend as crews continue working on upgrading the 53-year-old structure.

The two-lane bridge will be closed from 7 p.m. Friday to 7 a.m. Monday. Detours will direct northbound traffic to use Whitmore Avenue and southbound traffic to use Paradise Road.

Commercial trucks must use the detours. Hatch and Robertson roads will remain open to local traffic.

Construction crews will work around the clock during the closure. Modesto officials say this will limit traffic delays and expedite the project, which was expected to be completed in June and now has a November completion date. Work started in April 2012.

The 628-foot-long bridge is one of several spots where drivers can cross the Tuolumne River. More than 19,000 cars and trucks cross the bridge on a typical day.

The upgrade will cost about $10.8 million, with the funding coming from the state and federal government.

The project includes making the bridge better able to withstand an earthquake, as well as widening it from 34 to 69 feet. The bridge will remain two lanes but will have 12-foot-wide walkways on each side. Concrete barriers will separate pedestrians and bicyclists from traffic.

The bridge was closed in early January after roughly 1.3 million gallons of water from a broken water line washed out the soil under one end of the span. Crews soon repaired the damage.

The city continues to investigate what happened and who is responsible for the incident, said Richard Ulm, director of utility planning and projects.

A city report says the need to push the completion date from June to November is primarily because of "unforeseen, additional constraints in the project's environmental permits involving work in the Tuolumne River streambed."

Bee staff writer Kevin Valine can be reached at kvaline@modbee.com or (209) 578-2316.

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