Public Safety

Engineering Feat Wins Award

It is one of the longest bridges the County has ever built and the Valley Center Road Bridge has just received another mark of distinction: a Project Achievement Award from the San Diego Chapter of Construction Management Association of America.

“We are very proud to have such a prestigious organization as CMAA recognize the work we have done on this project,” said Bill Morgan, Senior Civil Engineer for the County Department of Public Works (DPW).  “The award validates the efforts of the entire project team, from inception through completion; and would not have been possible without the support of the entire Department.”

The new Valley Center Road Bridge over the San Luis Rey River opened to traffic nearly one year ago and replaced the functionally obsolete 70-year-old bridge structure.

The new bridge is almost the same length as the original bridge, at 500 feet, but is nearly double the width at 53.5 feet.  

It has two 12-foot-wide lanes, eight-foot-wide shoulders, and 5.5-foot-wide sidewalks on both sides. The sidewalks are separated from traffic lanes with concrete barriers to provide pedestrians safe and easy access across the San Luis Rey River. 

“This project presented our team with several major challenges,” added Morgan, referring to the stage construction, deep foundations for the new bridge supports, and the sensitive habitat for vegetation and endangered species in the river bed.

The new bridge was built in two stages to maintain traffic access on Valley Center Road at all times.

The foundations for the new bridge piers were constructed nearly 25 feet below the existing river bottom to ensure the bridge would remain functional during periods of excessive buildup in the river bed.  Construction of these deep foundations was made even more difficult by the recent rainy winters. DPW worked closely with the Rincon Band of Luiseno Indians and other oversight resource agencies.

“We are extremely pleased with the final product and the recognition that it is receiving,” Morgan said. “But above all else, we are satisfied that the bridge meets the safety and access needs of the community.”