Caltrans set to replace two aging Stockton Channel bridges


California Construction News staff writer

A $900-million project to replace aging Interstate 5 bridges across the Stockton Channel is scheduled to begin construction in late 2026, the California Dept. of Transportation (Caltrans) announced last week.

The Interstate 5 Stockton Channel Viaduct Replacement Project is currently in the final planning and design phases. Kiewit Infrastructure West Co. has been providing pre-construction consulting services.

“This historic endeavor in the Central Valley underscores Caltrans’ critical role in helping drive California’s vibrant economy through the safe and efficient movement of people and goods across a region rich with human capital and agricultural bounty,” said Caltrans Director Tony Tavares.

The I-5 Stockton Channel Viaduct Replacement Project will be the largest Caltrans construction project ever performed in District 10.

The project is needed because of structural deficiencies and continued bridge repairs, as the bridges show concrete and steel superstructure/foundation deficiencies, including a long-standing issue of concrete deck deterioration resulting in ongoing maintenance challenges.

Construction is expected to be completed in 2031 with a total of 2,275 feet of the northbound and southbound bridge structures will be replaced.

New bridge segments will eliminate the need for frequent maintenance and repairs on this aging asset, allowing commuters and freight movers to pass without encountering costly and inconvenient travel delays. The project will also improve safety by removing highway crews from the constant risk posed by working near live traffic.

The new bridge will be constructed to meet current design standards, including safety features such as upgraded bridge rails and wider shoulders to safely accommodate disabled vehicles and law enforcement personnel.

Caltrans originally identified the need to replace these bridge segments when Structures Maintenance and Investigations (SM&I) issued a Facts and Findings Report in 2014.


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