Credit: Kylie Kowalske | Mustang News

The Marsh Street Bridge in downtown San Luis Obispo will be replaced this year after being deemed “structurally deficient” by Caltrans. The project is expected to start in April and will cost $8.3 million, according to city documents.

Demolition of the old bridge and construction of its replacement will require the closure of Marsh Street to drivers, cyclists and pedestrians.

“The existing Marsh Street bridge is a 100-year-old bridge and it’s classified as ‘structurally deficient,’” City of San Luis Obispo Deputy Director of Public Works Matt Horn said. “It’s at the end of its lifespan, so we’re replacing it so Marsh Street can still function.”

In 2008, Caltrans deemed the bridge “structurally deficient” after a routine survey, Project Manager Mike McGuire said. 

After analyzing various options to repair the existing bridge, McGuire and his team determined their best choice was a complete replacement. 

Construction is expected to take nine months and McGuire said construction should be complete by December 2020. 

Kylie Kowalske | Mustang News

Because of the historical nature of the bridge, McGuire said they will be trying to match its original look as much as possible, while still accounting for building code and accessibility requirements. 

In order to commemorate the historical significance of the original bridge, lighting will be installed to replicate the original kerosene fixtures that would be lit each evening, according to McGuire. New light poles will be installed with energy-efficient LED light fixtures. 

The city has received highway bridge funds from the U.S. Department of Transportation to cover about 89% of the work, according to Horn.

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