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The Crows Landing Road bridge over the San Joaquin River is slated for replacement. A construction contract for the project was awarded by the Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors in October.

The Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors recently awarded a contract for replacement of the Crows Landing Road bridge over the San Joaquin River, clearing the way for preliminary work to begin this fall and construction in earnest to start next spring.

The $18.1 million construction contract was awarded Oct. 13 to Security Paving Company, Inc., the lowest of seven bidders on the project.

Mark Hamblin, senior civil engineer with Stanislaus County, said that initial environmental work will begin this year.

“We will be doing some things that nobody will really notice,” he commented. “You will start seeing construction around April 2021. We are looking at being completed in the neighborhood of November 2022.”

Hamblin explained that the construction process will include constructing one half of the new structure, moving traffic over to the new lanes, demolishing the current bridge and then building the remainder of the new one.

He said that the bridge will remain open during the construction, although traffic controls may at times be in place. Hamblin said any full closure will be temporary. Crews may need to fully close the bridge long enough to move a piece of equipment across the lanes, he said by way of example.

Crows Landing Road is a key link between the West Side and the remainder of Stanislaus County, and carries an average daily traffic volume of about 6,700 vehicles, according to a staff report to the Board of Supervisors.

The new bridge, Director of Public Works Dave Leamon said earlier this year, will be significantly higher than the current structure, with wider traffic lanes and the addition of a left-turn lane leading to the Carpenter Road intersection just off the bridge.

The bridge was built in 1949. The staff report indicates that the bridge has been determined to be vulnerable to damage in the event of a significant flood on the river, and has also been identified as being seismically deficient.

Federal funding will pick up 88.5 percent of the cost, Leamon previously told Mattos Newspapers.

Two other West Side bridge projects are in the planning stages. They include the replacement of both the Hills Ferry Road bridge which stands at the confluence of the San Joaquin and Merced rivers, and the Kilburn Road bridge over Orestimba Creek, which dates back to 1906 and is the oldest bridge in Stanislaus County.