Next up: replacing the Nicasio Valley Bridge

07/06/2017

The county debuted plans last week to replace an 89-year-old bridge in Nicasio whose width no longer meets new standards. The Department of Public Works says Nicasio Valley Road Bridge, located just south of the Lucas Valley Road intersection, will be widened from 21 feet to 40 feet to meet recommendations set by the nonprofit American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. The $3.26 million project, expected to begin in 2020 and be completed within six months, will be predominately funded through a Caltrans program. The Department of Public Works will also expand the intersection by increasing the radius of Nicasio Valley Road’s turn lane onto Lucas Valley Road from a 63-degree angle to a 75-degree angle. Though the bridge was seismically retrofitted in 2001—an $80,000 project—it scored a 58 out of 100 on a recent Caltrans sufficiency rating. The county considers the bridge “functionally obsolete” and began developing a replacement plan in 2015. During a community meeting at the Nicasio School last week, R.J. Suokko, senior civil engineer for D.P.W. and the project’s lead, said the bridge has exceeded its design life and shows signs of long-term deterioration. The railings, which no longer meet safety standards, have also endured multiple impacts from collisions. The county intends to install the new bridge in stages while keeping at least one lane of traffic open at all times. The project is part of a county program in which six bridges will be replaced or restored over the next few years. An online survey on the Nicasio project is available at surveymonkey.com/r/NicasioBridge.