Caltrans to replace Echo Summit Bridge on US 50 (updated) |

Caltrans to replace Echo Summit Bridge on US 50 (updated)

The bridge at Echo Summit is slated to be replaced.
Jim Grant / Tahoe Daily Tribune

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to clarify that the current project plans are considering a 14-day full closure of U.S. 50 — not a closure that could range from 14 to 60 days as originally reported by the Tribune. The 14 to 60-day range is included in the most recent project plans available online. Anything longer or different than the 14 days would need to be proposed by the contractor to Caltrans, according to Steve Nelson, Caltrans District 3 public information officer.

The Echo Summit Bridge project will lead to the complete closure of U.S. 50 for multiple days.

That’s according to a project report from the California Department of Transportation that was the topic of a public hearing with the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency Thursday.

Starting in spring of 2019, a portion of U.S. 50 over Echo Summit Bridge will divert traffic to a single lane while the bridge is under construction.

Caltrans currently is considering a 14-day complete closure of U.S. 50 that could occur in the off-peak seasons of spring or fall in 2020, according to Steve Nelson, Caltrans District 3 public information officer.

During the 14-day closure, local traffic with permits can use Johnson Pass Road, no trailers or long vehicles unless they are going to Echo Lake. Johnson Pass Road will be monitored. The primary detour for the public and commercial traffic will be state routes.

Located just south of Meyers and east of Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort, the Echo Summit Bridge construction will likely affect seasonal traffic that comes from the Sacramento area. The rebuild will cost about $9 million and is expected to be completed by December 2020.

The bridge was originally constructed in 1939 and was rehabilitated in 1974 and 1986. It is being rebuilt rather than rehabilitated because “it has a significant history of scaling, cracking, delaminating, and of fractures in the superstructure and substructure,” according to Caltrans.

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