The project replaced the former bridges due to their seismic deficiencies and scour (the removal of sediments at bridge piers by river flow). First breaking ground in 2009, the new bridges were completed using a new alignment located to the west of the original structures which helped facilitate the use of the former bridges during construction.
Commuting cyclists can now enjoy 10-foot-wide shoulders. An eight-foot-wide multi-purpose path on the east side of the northbound bridge connects Wiemar Road in the south to North Bank Road (Route 200) in the north. Lighting has now been brought up to current standards. Work has also included improvements at the Route 101/Route 200 interchange and ramps.
Mitigation efforts included a contribution from both this project and the previously completed Alton Interchange Project to help sustain the College of the Redwoods Agricultural Program. These funds were used to provide improvements at the school’s Shively agricultural facility, and to hire an agricultural professor.
“The Mad River Bridges Replacement Project was delivered safely and on schedule, and I would like to thank the many agencies, organizations, individuals, and all of the Caltrans staff who worked on this project to make it a success,” said District 1 Director Charlie Fielder.
Caltrans would like to thank: The Bear River Band of the Rohnerville Rancheria; Blue Lake Rancheria Tribe; California Coastal Commission; California Department of Fish and Wildlife; California Highway Patrol; California State Lands Commission; California Water Quality Control Board; City of Arcata; County of Humboldt; Golden State Bridges, Inc.; Humboldt Bay Bicycle Commuters Association ; Humboldt County Association of Governments; McKinleyville Community Services District; Mercer Fraser Company; NOAA Protected Resources Division, Fisheries; Pacific Gas and Electric; Redwood Community Action Agency; Ryan Sundberg, Humboldt County Supervisor; State Assemblymember Wesley Chesbro; State Senator Noreen Evans; U.S. Army Corp of Engineers; and the Wiyot Tribe.