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Laurel Street Bridge Seismic Retrofit

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Laurel Street Bridge 1The Laurel Street Bridge Seismic Retrofit project involved the earthquake retrofit of the existing Laurel Street Bridge to bring the structure up to current seismic safety standards. The $5 million project received federal funding under the State Seismic Safety Retrofit Program. The federal reimbursement under this program was for 100% of eligible work. Approximately $500,000 in additional funding for non-eligible work was provided by City stormwater utility fees.

This project was the third recent bridge project over the San Lorenzo River. Already completed projects include the Soquel Avenue and Water Street bridges. The Laurel Street bridge was constructed in 1967 and is about 335 feet long and 82 feet wide. It shares architectural similarities with the Water Street Bridge. The bridge provides a connection between Broadway Avenue and Laurel Street to the downtown area.

The $5 million upgrade included retrofit modifications at the bridge's piers and footings as well as steel reinforcement to strengthen the bridge span and supports. It also included strengthening the subsurface strata of soils at the footings that have liquefaction potential. The project also incorporated resurfacing the bridge deck, a new concrete traffic textured median, new pedestrian railings, new concrete traffic barrier railings, traffic signal improvements, levee pathway improvements, and decorative street lights (similar to those recently installed at the Water Street Bridge and Soquel Avenue Bridges).

On December 8, 1998, the City Council awarded the construction contract for the seismic retrofit of the Laurel Street bridge to Anderson Pacific Construction, Inc., of Santa Clara. Boyle Engineering Corporation of Sacramento prepared the bridge design work. Parsons Brinckerhoff Construction Services provided the construction management services. Both the design firm and the construction management firm were also involved with the Soquel Avenue and Water Street Bridge projects. The project manager was Hank Myers, an Associate Civil Engineer in the City's the Public Works Department. The bridge contractor also constructed the recently opened historic West Cliff Drive timber bridge.

Construction work on the Laurel Street bridge began in February 1999. The bridge was constructed in a number of stages in order to accommodate the planned bridge modifications, river access restrictions and traffic considerations. All work within the river channel was completed between the months of May to October to comply with California Fish and Game requirements. Construction was completed in December 1999. A bronze plaque was installed on the west side of the bridge to commemorate the successful completion of the seismic retrofit project.

November 8, 2000