The Coast News Group

Pair of bridges in Escondido to get signficant upgrades

ESCONDIDO — A pair of bridges will finally receive significant upgrades, according to city officials.

Assistant Public Works Director Julie Procopio said the structures at East Valley Parkway and El Norte Parkway will be widened to accommodate increased traffic.

The East Valley Parkway bridge near Valley Center Road and between Beven Drive and the northern city limits, has been in the works since 1999 with a total project cost estimated at $9.7 million.

Environmental and design reviews began in 1999 studying Bear Valley Parkway to East Valley Parkway from Citrus Avenue to the northern city limits at Valley Center Road.

Expansion will consist of expanding to three lanes in each direction from Beven Drive to Lake Wohlford Road. The bridge at Escondido Creek will also be widened to accommodate increased traffic.

Currently, Valley Center Road is only one lane in each direction in the affected area, with two lanes in each direction north and three lanes south.

There is more traffic than capacity, so the city is in the midst of finishing the work.

“This is the last phase of this multi-phase project,” Procopio said. “The city did quite a bit of work south of Beven to realign the connection between Bear Valley Parkway and East Valley Parkway.”

During construction, however, one lane in each direction will be open, but Procopio advised motorists about impacts.

“We can do quite a bit of the building outside the existing roadway,” she added.

As for the El Norte Parkway bridge, which also spans Escondido Creek, efforts will center on widening the bridge by one lane in direction, Procopio explained.

The bridge is west of the Valley Parkway and El Norte Parkway intersection.

However, these efforts have been delayed in the past due to revised design work.

Procopio said the roadway leading into the bridge from either direction is two lanes, but narrows once it merges with the bridge.

“The project will widen the roadway and widen the bridge so we provide the traffic capacity,” she explained. ‘These are major roadways that connect multiple cities together and so the capacity that exists there now is not enough to carry the current volume of traffic. So, we need to add some lanes.”

Both bridges and road widening projects are expected to be completed in 2018, Procopio said.

Construction on the East Valley Parkway bridge is tentatively scheduled for the beginning of next year with an 18-month timeline.

Efforts on the El Norte Parkway bridge, Procopio said, will begin later in 2017 with a construction timeline of one year.