Seismic work on the Castaic Tower Access Bridge in Los Angeles County has reached a milestone, concluding a project on three bridge piers where its owner — the California Department of Water Resources — is working to reduce the risk of earthquake damage to water facilities.
said Jason Brabec, director of the Castaic Dam Modernization Program in the city of Bayan. “This work enhances DWR’s ability to safely and reliably release water.”
The 500-foot bridge provides access for operations and maintenance crews to the hull that allows water to be released from Lake Castaic.
The bridge was built in 1974 and later modified in 1998 after the Northridge earthquake.
In 2017, California safety regulators classified the Castaic Dam as “fair,” noting that it is prone to earthquakes. The following year, the Water Resources Department, which owns the dam, launched a modernization programme.
Officials said crews will continue work on the bridge’s structure that supports the deck and connects to the piers.
So far, workers have added catcher blocks, installed bearing pads, and replaced select steel members in an effort to boost the bridge’s performance during a major earthquake. As part of the work, Castaic Lake levels were also lowered by more than 100 feet to allow dry access to the bridge piers.
Officials say visitors to the lake should be aware of the fluctuation of lake levels over the next year. Noise and activity in the lake will continue as construction progresses.
The project is expected to be completed by spring 2022.
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