Caltrans officials provided a brief update on the status of Calistoga’s two main bridges to the city council Tuesday night noting that the Berry Street Bridge is expected to open for traffic by the second week of March.

The intersection of Berry and Washington streets will be realigned to create a more direct crossing from Berry over Washington where it turns into Third Street.

“It will include two new ADA ramps,” said Mike Kirn, public works director. “Then there’s also going to be some significant restoration of Firemen’s Park,” which will be separate from the opening of the bridge.

There will be two ribbon cutting ceremonies, one for the bridge opening and one for the park.

“The most important thing for us is to get the traffic flowing and the pedestrians across the bridge,” Kirn said.

The footbridge currently in place on Berry Street while the bridge is undergoing construction is hoped to be relocated behind the Community Center to span the Napa River connecting Sharpsteen Plaza and Pioneer Park. The relocation is dependent on approval by California Fish and Wildlife, Mayor Chris Canning said.

The bridge replacement cost is about $2.5 million, the majority paid for by the Highway Bridge Replacement, which is administered by the Federal Highway Administration, and the Highway Bridge Program and State Bridge Toll Credits.

Lincoln Avenue Bridge

For three nights starting on Tuesday and ending Thursday, the block of Lincoln Avenue between Cedar and Washington streets will be closed from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. for utility work to occur in the bridge, said Kelly Hirschberg, Caltrans project manager.

Located within the bridge itself are fiber optic cable lines, city water, and PG&E gas lines, all of which had to be relocated during construction and tied back in as work continues.

“For AT&T, we actually had to move (their lines) twice,” Hirschberg said.

For demolition to occur the lines were first moved to an upstream location under the sidewalk.

“It took them a few months to do the splicing” because “only one person can fit in the manhole at a time” and the work is “pretty laborious and time-consuming,” she said. “Even though it might look like not much is happening” the utility work is taking place this winter.

PG&E is expected to have its work there done in a week or so, then AT&T will come back and pull cables and splicing, Hirschberg said.

Once all the utility work is done traffic will be shifted to the other side of Lincoln Avenue, which could occur sometime in the spring.

The nearly century-old Lincoln Avenue Bridge is a $22 million project funded by federal and state monies. Details on the bridge project are available at dot.ca.gov/dist4/29bridgecalistoga, and officials said they use Facebook and Twitter to keep motorists informed of construction delays as well.

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The Weekly Calistogan Editor