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Murrieta to Replace Los Alamos, I-15 Bridge Using Grant Money

The Los Alamos Road overcrossing at Interstate 15 will be torn down, according to a city official.

CORRECTION 9:45 a.m. Feb. 11: Los Alamos Road will remain open during construction of a new freeway bridge at Interstate 15, with one lane open in each direction in order to provide access over the freeway for all vehicles, Patch has learned.

"I am sure there will be the occasional nighttime closure with a detour to Cal Oaks or Murrieta Hot Springs Roads, but Los Alamos Road would be reopened to traffic the following morning," said Bob Moehling, acting city engineer and public works director, noting construction may start as soon as May or June of this year.

Patch previously reported on this post that the bridge would close during construction. We apologize for the error.

ORIGINAL POST:

The cost of replacing the Los Alamos Road bridge over Interstate 15 in Murrieta will be shared by the city, county and state.

The city initially sought to widen the bridge to accommodate four lanes of traffic; however it was discovered during plans were be drawn up for the project that it would need to be completely torn down in order to meet Caltrans’ vertical clearance requirements, according to a city staff report.

“...It would be better to replace the entire structure rather than widening the existing structure now and then having to modify it in the future,” wrote Bob Moehling, acting city engineer and public works director.

City Council on Jan. 15 approved a partnership agreement with the state in order to receive a $3.5-million transportation grant for the project.

A requirement for receiving the grant was a dollar-for-dollar match in funding, according to Moehling.

Thus, the city petitioned the Riverside County Transportation Commission to provide an additional $2.9 million dollars to fund the work.

The county commission agreed, and with the city’s $3.5 million—from Measure A and freeway development impacts funds—a total of $9.9 million among the three agencies has been set aside for the project.

Murrieta City Council voted 5-0 on Feb. 5 to approve the funding agreement.

The project has been on the city’s Capital Improvement Plan for at least the past few years.

A construction start date—or whether the project has yet gone out to bid—was unclear.

Previously, City Council voted to keep the bridge open during construction.

Don Lambert February 12, 2013 at 10:21 AM
Regarding leaving two lanes open during construction of the new overpass. There was considerable discussion among the council members at a CC meeting a few months ago. Bids or estimates had been opened. contractors had been asked to bid on two versions. One was to have two lanes open during the construction period. The other version was to NOT have lanes open during construction. This was a lot of dollars cheaper, but not a large percentage cheaper. I think maybe it was around $250,000 or $280,000 more expensive to always have two lanes open. However it was dicscussed that it is important to maintain fast access for fire and ambulance and police vehicles and personnel to have this route remain open. Also if it were closed hundreds of other vehicles per day would be added to traffic on Murrieta Hot Springs Road and California Oaks, as well as making hundreds of many drivers have to go extras miles and take extra time to get where they want to go for over a year until the new overpass was completed.. After a lengthy dicusssion the council decided it was overall best for the citizens to choose the keep two lanes open.
Don Lambert February 12, 2013 at 10:59 AM
More reasons why the overpass should be expanded to at least four lanes now. 1. The prices to build it now are lot cheaper now than the prices quoted when the project was first planned. 2. Road and overpass construction prices will be going up again. 3. The large undeveloped area north of I-15 between Los Alamos Rd and Murrieta Hot Springs is slated for development. After the CC meeting several years ago to determine where the major street would go through developers bought most of that land from willing sellers. The recession hit soon after that, but as recovery comes that area will be developed and the four or more lane overpass would be needed. 4. More routes are needed in the city for use during emergencies such as major fires or explosions or earthquakes, 5. More routes are needed to handle traffic better if there are major accidents on California Oaks or Murrieta Hot Springs Road. Sometimes it takes a longer time to clear a serious injury acciden, and usually a road is closed for hours when there is a fatality. 6. More city routes are needed. When an accident will close I-15 or I-215 there would be cars all over the local streets and the freeway on and off ramps. This wider overpass for Los Alamos would provide better access to get from one side of I-15 to the other side for emergency vehicles and the rest of us local citizens. 7. I am glad our city council is wise enough to see the value in pursuing this construction now.
LBV Collins February 13, 2013 at 03:13 PM
Whew! Thank you for checking into this, Maggie. That is good news!
LBV Collins February 13, 2013 at 03:16 PM
Thanks for the insight, Don. (I didn't even think about the impact on emergency services that shutting down the bridge would have. That's a damn good point.)
Don Lambert February 22, 2013 at 01:51 PM
And as mentioned in the above article, the old existing two lane overpass will have to be torn down anyway because it does not meet the new Cal Trans height standards. I do not know if that would be imposed soon, or is necessary as part of adding 1 or more new lanes to I-15. Also the money applied is in funds that have to be spent for certain type of projects, like Measure A funds and freeways get a portion of development impact funds that can not be taken out and used for other types of projects like parks and libraries.

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