The retrofit and replacement of 880's 5th Avenue Bridge and High Street Bridge are the Bay Area's only remaining highway seismic upgrades, besides the Bay Bridge.
At High Street, replacement of the 60-year-old structure will require a three-day closure of its southbound 42nd Avenue on and off-ramps beginning Dec. 9.
"Forty-second Avenue exists where the future foundation for the new bridge will be. So essentially we have to relocate where 42nd Avenue is to build the future foundation and columns for the new bridge," says Caltrans engineer Scott McCrank.
The current southbound High Street exit will be replaced with the new one, which is ready and waiting. The rest of the work planned for the 72-hour closure requires dry weather and a minimum temperature of 50 degrees.
"We'll have a lot of paving, demolition, it's going to be very staged, hour by hour schedule, they'll be working around the clock and by the time Monday morning comes around everything will look a lot different," says McCrank.
At the 5th Avenue Bridge, purple, epoxy coated rebar is going in on a new section of road-bed. The last step before concrete is poured will come sometime before Christmas, but don't look for the finished bridge for another few years.
"The 880 area will be a lot wider. We're going to add emergency lanes in case people have to pull over for, say, a blown tire. The roads will eventually also be a lot smoother," says Caltrans spokesperson Matt Robinson.
Resurfacing of the truck lanes between 5th and High was supposed to begin this year, but state budget problems has pushed that project to next year. That will have major traffic impacts, mostly at night and on weekends.
The first of the 880 corridor projects to be completed will be the 880-92 interchange. It is on-track for completion next summer.