May 19, 2014 8:24 PM
Construction on the new bridge that will replace Antler's Bridge in Lakehead entered a new phase today.
It's day one of stage two construction on southbound I-5 in Lakehead.
Caltrans crews are working to contour the roads to the new 134 million-dollar bridge, which is expected to be finished by 2017.
“The bridge was constructed for 50 years...by the time we're done with new bridge, it would be 70 years old.”
Crews started on the project in October of 2010.
Today, they reduced the northbound and southbound lanes on I-5 to one lane in each direction, and even reduced the speed limit to 45 miles per hour.
“…by the end of the summer it'll be back to 4 lanes in each direction.”
Because northbound and southbound I-5 near Lakehead are reduced to one lane, Caltrans will place traffic surveillance on the side of the highway on heavier traffic days like Memorial Day.
“…the contractor is required to have a quick response to people who run out of gas...need towing...”
It's all an effort to curb major traffic jams when traffic volume is high.
Caltrans also recognizes the safety factor of bringing a major highway to one lane in each direction.
“…we will be meeting with first responders...CHP…Cal Fire...to work on how to communicate in emergency situations...”
The only detour around the construction project is along Highway 89 from Burney – a 150-mile round trip.
Once the new bridge is finished, Antlers Bridge will be demolished.