Merced Seismic Retrofit

Project Description

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) proposes to seismically retrofit seven bridges in Merced County to increase their structural integrity in case of a seismic event and upgrade deficient bridge railings to current standards.


Project Benefits


The purpose of the project is to upgrade the following bridges to current seismic standards:

  1. Bear Creek Bridges, both northbound (Bridge Number, 39-0009 L) and southbound (Bridge Number 39-0009 R) on State Route 59 in the City of Merced.

  2. San Joaquin River (Santa Rita) Bridge eastbound (Bridge Number, 39-0028 L) on State Route 152 in Merced County.

  3. Eastside Bypass Channel Bridges, both eastbound (Bridge Number 39-0034R) and westbound (Bridge Number 39-0034R) on State Route 152 in Merced County.

  4. Los Banos Creek/West Branch Mud Slough (Bridge Number 39-0090) on State Route 140 in Merced County.

  5. San Joaquin River Bridge (Bridge Number. 39-0092) on State Route 140 in Merced County.


The bridges were identified as seismically vulnerable by the Office of Earthquake Engineering, and the Office of Structure Maintenance and Investigations identified a need to upgrade the non-standard bridge railings at each project location. The bridges are vulnerable to collapse during an earthquake if not retrofitted to withstand a maximum credible earthquake event.

Five of the structures were found to have obsolete bridge railing. Under the provisions of Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21), each state uses the nationally defined performance measures for bridges, which identify a bridge’s condition as good, fair or poor. The project bridges have non-standard railings in “poor” condition.


Funding Breakdown

Local:  $133,500,000
Estimated Total Project Cost: $133,500,00



City of Tulare


Project Contact

Caltrans District 10 - Public Information Office
Phone: (209) 948-7977



Environmental Document - April 2020 (PDF) - 9,280 KB


Title VI Information

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) assures that no person shall, on the basis of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be otherwise subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance, as required by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, the Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1987, and Federal Executive Order 12898 (Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations).

Caltrans will make every effort to ensure nondiscrimination in all of its programs and activities, whether they are federally funded or not, and that services and benefits are fairly distributed to all people, regardless of race, color, or national origin. In addition, Caltrans will facilitate meaningful participation in the transportation planning process in a nondiscriminatory manner.