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US 50 over Echo Summit reopens five days early

The California Department of Transportation provided this photograph of work being done on U.S. 50 over Echo Summit.
The California Department of Transportation provided this photograph of work being done on U.S. 50 over Echo Summit.(Caltrans)
Published: Sep. 27, 2020 at 10:09 AM PDT
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SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. (KOLO) - U.S. 50 over Echo Summit is open after bridge improvements five days ahead of schedule, the California Department of Transportation said Sunday in a statement.

Road work resumes Monday with intermittent one-way traffic controls over the next two weeks.

U.S. 50 reopened at 12:01 a.m. on Sunday.

Caltrans shut down U.S. 50 west of South Lake Tahoe on Sept. 18 to install seven 96-foot bridge girders, to pour ultra-high-performance concrete to connect the girders, to build barrier walls and approach slabs, to apply a polyester overlay on the bridge and to pave the bridge, among other work.

Caltrans and contractor Q&D Construction also safely removed large concrete portions of the old bridge, including using spider excavators over a precariously steep grade.

The $14.1 million project replaced the existing bridge, which was finished in 1939. Work started in May 2019.

“Caltrans is committed to innovative ways to improve efficiency and minimize impacts to the traveling public during construction,” Caltrans District 3 Director Amarjeet S. Benipal said in a statement. “I would like to thank the Caltrans team and Q&D Construction for their outstanding work on this important safety project.”

Using accelerated bridge construction that closed the highway, the project was accelerated by about three months and completed in two seasons rather than extending into 2021, according to Caltrans North Region Construction Chief Andrew Alvarado.

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