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July 2019 Edition

As the summer heat ramps up, so does construction in the Central Valley. A handful of projects should wrap up in the next few weeks, while several new projects are coming online. Among the highlights this month, the construction of the arches at the San Joaquin River Viaduct and the final pavings at Avenue 8.

Featured Project: San Joaquin River Viaduct
Work has begun on the signature arches that will serve as the high-speed rail “gateway” to Fresno and Madera counties. Falsework is being constructed on either side of the structure to form the arches that will be filled with concrete. Nearby, another crew is tying rebar for barrier walls along the sides of the structure. The completed viaduct, nearly a mile in length, will be one of the largest structures on this first phase of the high-speed rail project.

Updates Per Project

Avenue 8 Grade Separation

Asphalt paving is now largely complete for the roadway leading up to the Avenue 8 overcrossing bridge, in preparation for the Madera County road’s reopening. Trucks filled with hot asphalt empty their loads into the front of a paving machine, which then lays out a slab of pavement about six-inches thick, as vibrating rollers compact it. Final pavement striping, drainage inlets, and guardrail installation are the last steps prior to reopening the road.

Avenue 12 Grade Separation

Initial paving has been completed on the west side of the Avenue 12 overcrossing, leading up to the high-speed rail overcrossing bridge section. Meanwhile crews are at work on the crossing over the BNSF freight lines at the east end of the structure. There, workers tie rebar for a section of the barrier walls off the sides of the abutment. The overcrossing east of Madera Community College will carry Avenue 12 traffic over the high-speed rail line and eliminate the existing freight rail crossing.

Avenue 15 Grade Separation

Bridge deck construction has begun, and workers are preparing forms for a concrete pour to extend the abutment’s wing walls. The 35-foot tall, two-span structure will take traffic over the future high-speed train and the existing BNSF freight rail alignment. Cast in place embankment walls are taking shape on the east side of the structure. On the bridge, crews are setting precast deck panels on top of the girders, creating a working area that will be a permanent part of the bridge deck.

Fresno Trench & State Route 180 Passageway

Workers on the State Route 180 trench, a little north of downtown Fresno, direct a concrete pump as it pours 300 cubic yards of concrete to create a section of wall. The crews are constructing a box that will carry trains under the highway, a rail spur and the Dry Creek Canal. As that concrete sets, the forms will be moved to another section of the tunnel and the process repeated. Other sections of the tunnel rebar are still being tied in preparation for a concrete pour, while the final step will be to construct a lid to enclose the entire structure. The walls, floor and lid will all consist of solid concrete, five feet thick.

Cedar Viaduct

At the Cedar Viaduct, crews are constructing another section of viaduct to cross over Cedar Avenue, as the structure gets closer to State Route 99. Once the viaduct has been built on either side of the highway, precast concrete girders will be set to span the highway lanes. One of the largest structures on Construction Package 1, the Cedar Viaduct will be about three-quarters of a mile long when it’s complete.

Excelsior Avenue Grade Separation

On Construction Package 2-3, crews continue construction of the Excelsior Avenue overcrossing north of the town of Hanford in Kings County. The two abutments are largely complete, and two piers have been poured and are awaiting construction of the pier caps that will hold girders for the crossing’s superstructure. The Excelsior Avenue overcrossing will take traffic over the future high-speed rail line.