An eastbound freeway bridge that collapsed during a summer rainstorm, forcing a five-day closure of Interstate 10 in Desert Center, is scheduled to reopen next week, Caltrans officials said today.
Caltrans has scheduled a Sept. 30 ceremony to unveil the newly repaired Tex Wash Bridge. A 30-foot section of the span collapsed July 19, cutting off the primary route for motorists traveling between California and Arizona. The 10 Freeway was closed between state Route 86 and the Arizona state line.
Granite Construction Inc. was awarded an emergency contract to get traffic moving again. The westbound side of the bridge was reopened July 24, with one lane of traffic in each direction.
With traffic moving again, crews turned their attention to rebuilding the eastbound bridge and restoring Interstate 10 to full capacity. The $5 million project required the complete demolition of the existing eastbound bridge, and entailed the placement of rock slope protection in the channel below and rebuilding the bridge in an accelerated fashion.
During the roadwork, traffic speeds in the area have been reduced to 45 mph. On July 23, federal officials announced the availability of $2 million in funding to help cover costs associated with the rebuilding. U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx noted then that about 20,000 drivers use the bridge each day, traveling between Arizona and California.
“It is a critical piece of infrastructure for the people in both states, and DOT is committed to doing everything we can to help the area rebuild quickly and safely,’’ he said.
The funds were provided through the Federal Highway Administration’s Emergency Relief program.
Repairs were also made on two other bridges on the freeway — Adair Ditch Bridge and Hillock Ditch Bridge — that were found to be in need of upgrades.