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Five Further Bridges Potentially Unstable

 

Last updated 7/22/2015 at 4:35pm



State officials across California list approximately 450 bridges as potentially unstable during intense floods. Five of those bridges are in the Coachella Valley. Two in Indio and two on the Interstate 10 in Whitewater, are among the most highly trafficked of the at-risk bridges, seeing 80,000 drivers per day.

Caltrans officials have stated, that in light of the weekend storm, inspectors have surveyed dozens of nearby bridges for damage. The vast majority passed with no problems, but two — the Adair Ditch Bridge and Hillock Ditch Bridge — will require minor repairs. Those repairs are expected to be completed on Tuesday July. 28 as both bridges have similar designs to the Tex Wash bridge.

The weekend’s storm has been the latest sign that a strong El Niño weather pattern is brewing in the Pacific Ocean. If the pattern holds, the Coachella Valley could see intense storms and floods.

“It could lead to more active river systems, which could affect your bridges,” said Jeff Johnson, co-founder of Watershed Science & Engineering, a Washington-based firm that has analyzed bridge scour.

“They are safe and passable, and if we feel in any way shape or form that they’re imminently unsafe, we’ll close them. We don’t take any chances with these things,” said Timothy Wassil, Indio’s public works director. “It’s just like all things — anything can happen. But in our analysis, they’re safe, and we’re trying to make them safer.”

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