Moraga’s “Back Door” – Canyon Bridge – Closed Tuesday Night Due To...

Moraga’s “Back Door” – Canyon Bridge – Closed Tuesday Night Due To Structural Damage

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Recently discovered evidence of structural damage to the Canyon Bridge – the venerable but relatively unappreciated back door from Moraga to Canyon and beyond – has resulted in its indefinite closure, commencing at 7 p.m. tonight (Tuesday).

Town officials said Canyon Road will be closed between Constance Place in Moraga and the EBMUD-owned Valle Vista Staging area. Commuters – and truckers who recently discovered the route by way of an online directions ap – will be denied its use for an undetermined period of time.

UPDATE: Our point about oversized truckers attempting to use Canyon as a “cut through” to Moraga was borne out at 4:33 p.m. Wednesday when an 18-wheel car carrier with three cars aboard wedged itself into the hillside at Canyon Road and Pinehurst.

Witnesses said the driver attempted to roll his truck backwards and forwards in an effort to free his vehicle but ended up only wedging himself in tighter. A two truck was summoned and the effort to free the truck (from the Oakland side of Canyon) was underway at 7:30 p.m.

A release issued by the town reported that the bridge had been structurally compromised by a nearby land slide and slides, possibly created by our recent rains. Both geotechnical and structural engineers determined that the bridge appears to have been damaged.

The town is coordinating with the Moraga-Orinda Fire District and other agencies to finalize contingency plans for providing emergency services to the residents of Canyon.

19 COMMENTS

  1. Hmmm. It will be very interesting see if the crime rate drops because of this road closure. Some suspect that criminals come to Moraga through
    “the back door”

  2. @Greg – We’ve heard that, and that leave by the back door, too, at times. We shall see. Right now we’re thinking about our commuting friends and neighbors living in Canyon who depend on emergency services from MOFD. Folks working on that last one… we shall see. This is a bit of a blow.

  3. @PMT – Closed to all forms of traffic across the bridge itself, though our Facebookers are coming up with walk-around routes skirting the span.

  4. aww .. So bummed out .. first the Redwood rd is closed due to road broken off and now Canyon rd is closed. Its the fastest way for me to get to work in Moraga.

  5. There are a huge number of recreational bicyclist including me that rely on the back door to get to Skyline and beyond. Please let us know if there will be a bike-around route to skirt the span. Thanks.

  6. The city needs to gat a creative thinker in there to come up with a quick fix. My recommendation is Dr. Bill Wattenburg. He worked with Caltrans to come up with the repair to I5 using old railroad cars.

  7. @Phil – Morning! Yep, we know you two-wheelers use Canyon a lot (we do, too!). Some cyclists, hikers are already plotting work/walk-arounds on our Facebook page so we believe it can be done, it just may require some more effort! But to your point we will be providing updates of any pertinent info that comes down regarding this closure… Thanks for writing. Ride Safe, Ride Hard!

  8. @James – Morning, James… thanks for writing! Yep, we would bet the town is eager to find a solution as Canyon, while “country” and unassuming, is obviously a widely used corridor for a bunch of local folks. We’ll update with any substantive info we get as it comes in…

  9. Well, this is a radical way to stop the speeding and aggressive driving problems at the “back door” that have come from the traffic apps. Moraga could open up access to the portion of the M/L trail not damaged by the mud slides to allow bike and pedestrian access to the staging area and beyond, in fact it would be nice to ride that stretch knowing your not going to have cars blasting by you!

  10. @Katherine – G’morning! Yes, wish we had the proverbial nickel for every hiker/cyclist who has told us that in the last 24 hours! Lots of folks gathering on our Facebook page trying to come up with new routes around the closure. Tough on the morning commute, we’re hearing… though most seemed to have gotten the word last night.

  11. What’s with the helicopter activity? Checking the Canyon bridge? or looking for bad guys? It has been around the area for quite a while now.

  12. @David – Hi. We “Flashed” it. News chopper angling for the best profile shot of our teetery bridge.

  13. Someone needs to tell google pronto about this bc i was routed by google maps to take the back door to moraga to avoid traffic on 13 and caldecott…only to hit the road closure along with hundreds of other cars having to turn and backtrack. Commute took extra hour having to go through skyline and grizzly peak. And they need road closure signs much earlier on the oaklanf side. You are deep in before the first small sign appears.

  14. I use this route for my commute and did not believe the signs because cal trans so frequently leaves signs along that road for days with no activity and after or before any activity is occurring..
    I’m sorry the road is closed it increases my commute by about an hour – when will the bridge be repaired ?

  15. @Claire – Sorry the closure has led to this disruption for you. You’re not alone. We have heard no firm date for repair and have heard to plan on a closure of about two months. If we get something more solid we’ll be sure to let everyone know here…

  16. @Sean – G’morning. Working it – between Costco robberies and smoke plumes! They are considering a range of options, all of which cost money. This warm weather should help solidify things… pardon the pun.

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