A team of structural engineers that conducted a field assessment in early January is set to release a Draft Strategy Report outlining recommended alternatives. The aging arch bridge (1923) has been determined eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.
The upcoming report is scheduled to be submitted for Caltrans review in the next couple of weeks. At a March 24 site visit, various alternatives were outlined that included four considerations:
(1) Rehabilitate and retrofit the existing bridge;
(2) Replace the existing bridge with a standard cast-in place bridge;
(3) Replace the existing bridge with a new arch bridge; or
(4) Replace existing bridge deck with clear span bridge but retain existing arches below (hybrid alternative)
The draft report will contain a detailed analysis of the existing bridge and a narrative description of each of the proposed alternatives. The description of the alternatives will include pros and cons, exhibits and plans, and cost estimates.
After a review by Tulare County officials, a preferred alternative will be selected that will be used to define the scope of environmental review required under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Eligibility for federal funding and the fact that the Oak Grove Bridge is considered a historic structure are significant considerations in the selection of the preferred alternative.