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The New Cook Riolo Bridge

Although it may take a little more recollection this rainy season than in others, there was a certainty that happened when there was heavy rain in western Placer County: the old Cook Riolo Bridge over Dry Creek would flood. This aging and deteriorating structure simply sat too low in the flood plain and would become inundated and impassible with heavy rains. 

That is about to change.  As I write this, the actual opening of the new bridge should happen any day now. In fact, while you’re reading this, it has already opened to local traffic. 

Decades ago when this area had much less population, the flooding would typically prove an inconvenience to those who wanted to use the bridge. However, now that there has been development in the area and the number of people living in the area has increased dramatically, the old single-lane bridge that was once an inconvenience could have easily become life threatening. Emergency responders could be unnecessarily delayed in getting to calls, whether medical, fire or law enforcement.  

While there have been changes to the project since its inception about a decade ago, the final version that Placer County is about to open will be safer, and far less susceptible to weather than the old bridge. 

The replacement bridge will sit higher and be significantly wider than the predecessor. The new bridge will feature two, 12-foot traffic lanes, two, eight-foot shoulders and a dedicated 10-foot pedestrian/bicycle lane that is separated from vehicular traffic by a concrete barrier. The new bridge will be 10 to 12 feet higher than the old one.  

As part of the project, both approaches to the bridge were raised and widened. The old approaches failed to meet roadway standards. To minimize traffic disruption, the city of Roseville and Cal American Water Company worked with the county to install two new potable water lines and relocate a recycled water line as part of the new bridge project. Both Roseville and CalAm Water completely paid for the new lines.  The utility lines within the County bridge project helped to minimize the effects of the construction on the public, minimize future impacts to the new bridge and ensure a cost-effective project.  Thank You City of Roseville and CalAm Water!! 

The project is being completed under the Federal Highway Bridge Program. The bulk of the project is funded with federal monies (about 85 percent). The rest comes from the county Road Funds and Fee Mitigation Programs. The project cost about $8 million.  Many Dry Creek area residents participated in reviewing the bridge design and providing comments to our planning department, for that I am thankful and it has made for a true community effort in developing the bridge project.  

Finally, as we are now facing uncertainty with our future water supply, please join me in doing all you can to conserve water.   

Thank you again for the opportunity to serve.  I invite your questions and feedback on any issue.  I can be reached at (916) 787-8950 and jduran@placer.co.gov.

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