The Rio Vista Bridge will be closed periodically between now and Friday morning while Caltrans tests a mechanical part replacement.
The mechanical gear that is used to raise and lower the drawbridge was damaged early August and sent to the manufacturer in Alabama for repairs, Caltrans spokeswoman Deanna Shoopman said.
The bridge, which separates Solano County from south Sacramento County, is closed from 4 p.m. Saturday through 6 a.m. Saturday, according to a news release by Caltrans.
Next week, it’ll also be closed from 7 p.m. Tuesday through 6 a.m. Wednesday and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
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Shoopman said Caltrans received and installed the part on Monday, and closures since have been a result of testing the new parts.
“A whole team is adjusting it,” Shoopman said. “They have to actually raise the bridge and lower it to make sure it’s doing everything correctly. They will keep testing it until they get it right.”
Before the gearbox was fixed, Caltrans had been manually raising the 60-year-old span, a process which takes several hours. The bridge has been closed periodically since the gearbox was damaged on Aug. 6, causing major traffic delays in the area.
Closures on the bridge – officially known as the Helen Madere Memorial Bridge – have caused delays for more than just motorists – Rick Toft, port manager for the city of West Sacramento, said one outgoing ship was delayed for an entire week while the bridge was closed.
Most of the impact on the Port of West Sacramento have already occurred, Toft said, unless the bridge doesn’t re-open when Caltrans expects repairs to be complete on Sept. 15.
“If the repairs are not completed as anticipated, the ongoing impacts will be significant,“ Toft said. “Our rice shipping season starts in October, so there would be significant disruption to that trade.”