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Caltrans plans $53M I-80 bridge project

Seven spans from Weimar to Cisco are targeted
By: Gus Thomson, Reporter/Columnist
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Caltrans is targeting a 2021 start on a $53 million project to rehabilitate or replace seven bridges from Weimar to Cisco Grove.
The Weimar overcrossing, just south of Colfax, along with bridges over the freeway at Crystal Springs, Baxter, Drum Forebay, Yuba Pass and Cisco are the subjects of a draft environmental report that is open for public comment through Jan. 26. 
The report, a precursor to further planning and construction, states the bridges are in need of major rehabilitation or replacement due to cracking in the concrete decks, crumbling concrete and high salt content that has leached into steel bridge components.
All seven bridges targeted at the six sites — Yuba Pass has two bridges — are safe to drive on, Caltrans spokeswoman Liza Whitmore said. 
“But they’re deteriorating,” Whitmore said. “That’s why we take care of them now.”
The environmental report — available for public perusal at the District 3 Caltrans website and locally at the Colfax Library, indicates there are no major impacts from the work. 
A meeting in Alta on the Caltrans plan drew about 40 people on Wednesday, Whitmore said.
One of the topics of discussion for people attending was the possibility of eliminating the Crystal Springs overcrossing and its eastbound ramp. 
The Baxter and Crystal Springs overcrossings are less than a mile apart and Caltrans is weighing the expenditure to rebuild the latter, Whitmore said. One of the points made by local residents was that the westbound offramp at Baxter is shorter than the one at Crystal Springs and has a tight turn at the end, Whitmore said.
When work begins, Caltrans will close down bridges in a way that motorists will be able to continue to the next overcrossing to reverse course, she said. The Weimar work would probably only have one lane closed at a time, Whitmore said.