“However,” reports Fleisch, “a finding of structurally deficient does not indicate that a bridge is unsafe. Structural elements were found to be in poor condition at the 15 locations (Victoria Avenue, Harbor Boulevard, Torrey Road, Santa Ana Boulevard, Santa Ana Road,
South Mountain Road, Piru Canyon Road, Koenigstein Road, Hitch
Boulevard, Broadway Road, Mupu Road, Bridge Road, Wheeler Canyon Road, two bridges on Canada Larga Road), and in most cases, the deck was found to have surface cracking.”
Three of these 15 bridges - Bridge, Mupu and Wheeler Canyon - have federally funded projects that will improve their overall rating, all of which are below 50.
Fleisch notes that the remaining bridges “will continue to be monitored and projects initiated for repair or improvements as needed.”
Bridges can also be classified as Functionally Obsolete, which means they do not meet current design standards regarding lane and shoulder widths, as well as vertical clearances.
Eight bridges in Ventura County that fall under this category, Camino Cielo, West Fifth Street, Grimes Canyon Road, Grand Avenue, Old Lewis Road, Casitas Vista Road, Ventura Avenue, and Carne Road.
The state uses an overall rating called the Sufficiency Rating - which combines several factors, including structurally deficient and functional obsolete parameters and route element/category to rate the bridge on a scale of 0 to 10 - to determine eligibility for federal funds for bridge repairs.
The overall average rating for NBIS bridges is currently 81, and the overall average rating is 70 for non-NBIS bridges.
For the county’s 15 bridges in the structurally deficient category the average is 78.
Caltrans’ bridge-inspection engineers inspect county-maintained bridges under the NBIS every four years, but Fleisch notes they can be inspected every two years when they are believed to have “key structural elements that require more frequent inspections.”
Inspection reports are reviewed and evaluated by county public works staff to determine if any repairs are required or monitoring of bridge-structure elements is needed.
Bridge reconstruction, widening of bridges, and bridge deck rehabilitation are such major repairs that they are planned and added to the county’s capital improvement lists.
There is no action expected on the part of the supervisors who are being asked to receive and file the report.