Highland’s Greenspot Road Bridge over the Santa Ana River Project was recently named a 2016 Public Works Project of the Year by the American Public Works Association (APWA). The project is being honored with APWA’s Project of the Year award in the Small Cities/Rural Communities - Transportation category. This award honors agencies representing cities and communities with a population of 75,000 or less. The Small Cities/Rural Cities Project of the Year Award was established to promote excellence in demonstrating creativity, ingenuity and efficiency in the delivery of public works projects that have a profound impact on the community. For 2016, the team of winners includes City of Highland, CA as the managing agency; KEC Engineering, as the primary contractor; and Harris & Associates as the primary consultant, who will be presented with the award during APWA’s PWX 2016 conference Awards Ceremony in Minneapolis, MN during August 28-31, 2016.
The APWA Public Works Projects of the Year awards are presented annually to promote excellence in the management and administration of public works projects, recognizing the alliance between the managing agency, contractor, consultant and their cooperative achievements. This year, APWA selected projects in five categories in the Small Cities/Rural Communities area: Disaster/Emergency, Environment, Historical Restoration, Structures, and Transportation.
The Greenspot Road Bridge project is located in the eastern part of the City of Highland, where the prevailing speed is mostly above the posted limits of 55 mph. The sharp curve on the two-lane Greenspot Road, north of the bridge across the Santa Ana River, can only accommodate a reduced speed of 35 mph. The old bridge was too narrow to allow safe passage of two opposing vehicles across the bridge at the same time, and the speed limit was restricted to 15 mph.
According to a Caltrans Bridge Report, the bridge had an extremely low Sufficiency Rating, and the segment of Greenspot Road near the old bridge was the frequent site of traffic accidents.
The new project involved a much-wider new bridge (98’-wide), and the traffic on Greenspot Road now does not have to negotiate the relatively sharp turn near the north end of the old bridge, as the 3,487’ realigned roadway is designed for 65 mph with much smoother curves. The new bridge accommodates legal loads, and does not have any vertical clearance restriction. With construction of the new bridge project, safe travel over the Santa Ana River is now possible, whether by vehicle, bicycle or foot.
The construction of the project was designed to minimize impact to the public. As a result, this project did not cause any traffic impact to the commuters on Greenspot Road during the construction period, except for five days when two short portions of the road had to be closed to accommodate pavement removal, reconstruction, and connection to the newly realigned roadway segments. After the roadway segments were connected to the existing Greenspot Road, the center two lanes on the new concrete bridge structure were immediately opened to traffic, while the outer two lanes remained closed to allow the contractor to complete the exterior bridge barriers. By switching the traffic on the new bridge structure, and closing the old Greenspot Road to perform rehabilitation work on the old steel historic bridge, the public got the benefit of an easier passage through the area three months sooner.
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