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Public Can Weigh In on Santa Monica Pier Bridge Reconstruction
By Jorge Casuso
January 2, 2018 -- The nearly 80-year-old bridge that leads to Santa Monica's iconic pier will soon be torn down and replaced, with a meeting focusing on the environmental impacts of the reconstruction scheduled for next week.
The more than $8 million project comes after the California Department of Transportation deemed the bridge “structurally deficient” and “functionally obsolete.”
The City had planned to rehabilitate the the bridge built in 1939, but decided in August 2012 to rebuild the structure after Caltrans said rehabilitation would not be cost-effective and did not qualify for federal funding ("'Deficient' Pier Bridge to be Replaced," August 16, 2010).
The Pier Bridge Replacement Project approved by the Council is eligible for nearly 90 percent federal funding, City officials said.
The project will replace the structure -- which received a 30.6 sufficiency rating on a 100-point scale from Caltrans -- with either a single bridge or two separate bridges, officials said.
The Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Assessment (EIR/EA) for the proposed project explores the three following options:
* Replacing the existing bridge with a new, wider bridge in the same location and constructing a temporary bridge on Moss Avenue to maintain vehicle access to the Pier during construction.
* Constructing the same replacement bridge as in the first option but providing temporary vehicular access to the Pier deck during construction via a temporary vehicle ramp from Parking Lot 1 North.
* Constructing two new permanent bridges, one mainly for pedestrian and bicycle use in the current location, the other at the Moss Avenue entrance to provide vehicle access.
To make the current bridge safer, in 2013 the City added a designated walkway that separates pedestrians from bike and vehicle traffic as part of $150,000 in improvements ("Santa Monica Makes Pier Bridge Improvements," April 12, 2013).
The current bridge -- which extends some 500 feet west from the intersection of Ocean Avenue and Colorado Avenue to the Pier -- is the primary route for pedestrians coming from Downtown and the only access for vehicles to the pier deck parking lot.
The Pier Bridge qualifies for replacement under the Highway Bridge Program (HPB) and is eligible for federal Toll-Credit funding, which reimburses 100 percent of the cost to replace the bridge, City officials said.
The public can weigh in on the project at a meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, January 10, at Ken Edwards Center, 1527 4th Street.
The deadline for public comments on the EIR/EA is 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, February 13, 2018. Comments can be submitted by email at email@example.com or by mail postmarked by February 13 and sent to:
Selim Eren, P.E., Civil Engineer
The reports can be viewed online at smgov.net/smpierbridge, at all Santa Monica libraries and at the Caltrans District 7 office, 100 S. Main Street in Downtown Los Angeles.
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