PHOTO: First avenue bridge, Barstow, CA
The City of Barstow was recently notified by Caltrans Section 190 Administrator Carlos Ruiz that it has been awarded $5,000,000 million dollars in funding for the Section 190 Grade Separation Program for the North First Avenue Bridge Project.
 
Funding is established based on the Highway Bridge Program (HBP) grant funding and the agreement with San Bernardino County Transportation Authority (SBCTA) to use Measure I Major Local Highway Projects Program funds (Regional funds) for the construction phase of the bridge.
 
The City of Barstow requested $5,000,000 million dollars from the Railroad Grade Separation Program with money to be utilized for items such as decorative street lights, the bridge aesthetic improvements, and other bridge components.
“To replace a structurally deficient bridge over one of United States’ main east-west
Trans-continental railroad lines with a new structure that will minimize impacts to the
BNSF facilities below is a great win for our City,” stated Mayor Dr. Paul Anthony Courtney. “This project will not only enhance traffic safety, but will improve ADA access, enhance pedestrian walkways, bicycle safety and re-establish a safety connection between the two parts of the City of Barstow - the residential north portion and the downtown business district.”
 
In October of 2019 the City awarded a Professional Service Agreement to Douglas Engineering, Inc. to prepare an application to nominate the Reconstruction of First Avenue Bridge over BNSF in response to the California Public Utilities Commission's (CPUC) Order Instituting Investigation 19-06-013 for the 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 Railroad Grade Separation Program List with the anticipation to be eligible of requesting $5,000,000 in allocations; the replacement of North 1st Avenue Bridge over BNSF Railroad Cajon Subdivision and the BNSF Barstow Classification Yard (B-Yard) is expected to have a total project cost of $86 million dollars.
 
The existing bridge was built in 1930 and had been deemed structurally deficient and functionally obsolete. The current project includes the construction of new approach roadways, a new 1,178’ structure with 2-12’ lanes, one in each direction, 2-8’ shoulders, an 8’ barrier-protected pedestrian walkway along the east side of the structure, and demolition of the old structure once the new facility has been opened to traffic.
“The new structure will re-establish local and regional transit service connectivity between the downtown business district and the multi-modal transportation center (AMTRAK Station/Harvey House) on the north side as well as improving the quality of life and safety of the transportation underserved community of north Barstow,” stated Consulting City Engineer Brad Merrell. “Traffic Circulation Improvements will provide a reliable and direct first responder route to the north Barstow community providing them with the critical few minutes that could mean the difference between life or death.”
 
For additional information please contact the City of Barstow at 760-256-3531 or www.barstowca.org