Locals stymied by closure of the nondescript bridge linking Moraga with Canyon may be heartened to learn that town engineers may soon present a plan to remove the existing structure and construct a temporary 160’ one-lane, free standing bridge in its place.
If approved, the temporary bridge would be located in a position that would allow a new, permanent bridge to be constructed east of the temporary span, at a later time, according to town officials.
Public Works Director Edric Kwan has assumed responsibility for finding a solution for reconnecting the two communities, saying candidly the initial estimate for design, purchase and installation of a temporary bridge comes in at $2.6 million and could take months.
Officials continue to research all options they hope will accomplish their goal, but at lower cost.
To that end, The Town has submitted a request for emergency funding through Caltrans and the California Office of Emergency Services. The request is being evaluated to see if the Town qualifies for any funding programs. If approved, funds will pay for a portion of the total cost, but as in the case with the now infamous sink hole, the Town will have to pay upfront costs and wait for reimbursement.
The Town has also submitted a claim to the its insurance carrier, which is also making an assessment of damage and potential coverage. The Town’s policy requires a $500,000 deductible with a maximum coverage of $2 million in property loss. Staff recommendations on a temporary bridge or other options will be presented to the Town Council at a public meeting for approval and authorization of funding.
The timeline for the project is still being developed, according to an announcement released by The Town Thursday, and is “subject to change based on the ongoing consideration of all options.”
But Kwan and others say “it could take months to get all permits and approvals; stabilization work completed; removal of the existing bridge; and a temporary bridge purchased, delivered, and built…”
No traffic of any kind has been allowed across the bridge since engineers found that its supporting piers had sustained significant damage from a nearby mudslide.