El Dorado supervisors to support Caltrans bridge project award nomination

Staff Report


SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — Caltrans finished the Echo Summit bridge replacement last fall ahead of schedule and now the project may be up for an award.

The El Dorado County Board of Supervisors will likely vote Tuesday to send a letter in support of Caltrans receiving an award for the bridge replacement on U.S. Highway 50 over Echo Summit.

The letter addressed to Caltrans District 3 Director Amarjeet Benipal and signed by Board Chair John Hidahl authorizes full support for the nomination of the Echo Summit Sidehill Viaduct Replacement Project for the America’s Transportation Award.

The item is on the consent agenda for Tuesday’s meeting and most likely will not be discussed.

The project replaced an 80-year-old bridge with a new structure that meets safety and seismic standards, the Tribune previously reported.

“The new bridge improves safety along a route that serves as a primary connection to the Tahoe Basin and provides for travel for tourists from all over the world,” the letter said. “District 3 did an outstanding job in delivering this project ahead of schedule, reducing the impact to the local businesses, residents and visitors to the South Lake Tahoe area. On behalf of El Dorado County, I commend the good work by all the employees at Caltrans District 3 for a job well done.”

The $14.1 million project removed the existing bridge, which was completed in 1939 at a cost of $25,000.

The project included $5.2 million in funding from Senate Bill 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017.

Construction, which started in the spring of 2020, included a full closure of U.S. 50 over the summit in September to install seven precast, pre-stressed 96-foot bridge girders. The full closure was completed five days ahead of schedule and incorporated elements of Caltrans’ accelerated bridge construction approach to complete projects faster and more efficiently, the agency said.

The proposed letter is found here.

Echo Summit Award Nomination Letter of Support.pdf

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