CALEXICO, Calif. – A 90-year-old bridge in Imperial County was closed when it was deemed unsafe for everyday traffic due to structural deficiencies. Traffic going to the east port of entry will now have to take a slight detour for a long while due to the closure of the bridge that crosses the All-American canal. In a recent study by the Federal Bureau of Reclamation (BOR), the bridge was found to be too worn out for the traffic that is common in that area.
“That bridge out there gets a lot of agricultural traffic with heavy equipment. What we were concerned was the amount of equipment that goes across that bridge and the type of equipment is very heavy.” said Doug Hendrix, Public Administrator Specialist with BOR.
Local officials would like to do more about it, but they say it’s out of their hands.
“Bridges are normally owned by the County of Imperial but in this case it’s owned by the BOR, so it’s over 80-years-old, structurally unsafe,” said County Supervisor John Renison, “It’s not as if we had local control on the design. It goes to Cal-Trans and to the federal government.”
County officials say they predict the bridge will remain closed for at least two years. The good news is that a new bridge won’t cost the county any money, the repairs will be federally funded, according to Renison.
“If we see that we have to do a match at some point in the future, we’re going to be open to that.” said Renison.