The County of San Diego's Department of Public Works has started work on Valley Center Road’s bridge over the San Luis Rey River, just west of Harrah's Rincon Casino.
This year, the Federal Highway Administration revised their inspection standards to identify any bridge without enough existing foundation information to be evaluated as a “scour critical” structure. Since the existing bridge was completed in 1939 and evaluated as having an unknown foundation, the administration deemed it as "scour critical."
According to state bridge maintenance engineer Barton Newton, "More than half of all bridge failures in the United States are caused by scour, where flowing water erodes supporting material from bridge piers and abutments."
The new two-lane bridge will be built next to the existing bridge and will have a foundation that meets federal bridge standards, be wider, and have sidewalks. Demolition of the old bridge will be completed when the new one opens to traffic.
The estimated total project cost is $6,316,062, and will be funded by the Federal Highway Administration and gas tax revenue. The project is expected to be completed in early spring 2011.