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H Street Bridge Repairs Project

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The City Council approved $30,915 for the design phase of H Street Bridge Repairs Project Tuesday, which will be done by Dokken Engineering.

H Street Bridge is located where H and J streets come together on the west side of the bridge. The bridge turns into Fair Oaks Boulevard and connects the areas of downtown and East Sacramento.

Assistant Civil Engineer for the Department of Transportation Josh Werner said the bridge was built in 1932, and improvements were last done in 1991 to 1992 to widen the bridge and reconstruct the bridge approach on the east side.

Department of Transportation Engineering Services Manager Nicholas Theocharides said that while the work being done is nothing major and fairly routine, it is important for a number of reasons.

“For example,” he said, “joint seals allow for expansion in the heat and contraction in the cold of the structure. If those seals are not in good repair, rocks can get in, and when the bridge expands again with the weather, this can lead to damage.”

“It’s a very important preventative measure,” he added.

He said the same of resealing the bridge deck – the actual street driven on – in order to prevent air exposure and water penetration, which would eventually corrode the reinforcing steel in the concrete.

Initial designs were created to repair damaged joint seals, seal the bridge deck, repair chipped concrete and add a concrete approach slab at the west end of the bridge.

But as a result of the discovery of new damage to the concrete slab at the east side of the bridge, further repairs were added to the design, which were approved at Tuesday’s meeting.

Theocharides said the addition of those repairs brings the total cost of the design phase to about $113,000.

The project was initiated by complaints from neighbors over the past year about damaged joint seals that are causing a lot of vehicle impact noise. The joint seals are protected by a plate, which is actually what is making all the noise. Werner said that the use of a joint plate to protect the seals is an old method and that the old joint seals will be replaced in the renovation project.

Theocharides said the design phase of the project should be done in the next month or so and, once completed, it will be about eight to 12 weeks before construction can begin. Actual construction will last a couple of months, during which one lane in each direction will remain open.

Theocharides said Sacramento residents can expect a fully renovated bridge by the end of the year.

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