In the past 15 years, the bridge has been closed to traffic twice for critical repairs and has had temporary supports installed at different locations beginning in 2004.
Since opening to the public in 1934, the Mount Vernon Avenue Bridge has been an iconic structure, bridging San Bernardino communities to the north and south and serving as a vital link for residents, visitors, students and businesses.
The community, like the bridge, has seen a great deal of change over the past 86 years.
Today the bridge is showing its age and is in need of desperate improvement. In the past 15 years, the bridge has been closed to traffic twice for critical repairs and has had temporary supports installed at different locations beginning in 2004. And, although it remains open to passenger cars and people walking and biking across the bridge, buses and trailer trucks are no longer permitted to use it. To ensure the safety and longevity of the bridge, the City of San Bernardino and the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) have partnered with the San Bernardino County Transportation Authority (SBCTA) to rebuild the bridge, which began in December 2020. The bridge will be disassembled and completely rebuilt — a process that will span approximately three years. Reconstruction of the new bridge will begin in 2022 and the new structure is anticipated to open in 2024.
Crews will begin the careful work of disassembling the old bridge a few weeks after it is closed. Once the bridge is disassembled, crews will begin work to clear a wider footprint for the new bridge. This includes moving buildings and a portion of the parking lot from the current configuration in the Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Railway Intermodal Yard. This will take approximately 18 months to complete. In 2022, once the area within the BNSF Railyard is cleared, crews will begin work to reconstruct the bridge, which will take approximately one year to complete. After reconstructing the roadbed to the bridge, the new Mount Vernon Avenue Bridge will open to the public in 2024.
The new Mount Vernon Avenue Bridge will include the following improvements:
- Design criteria will meet the latest structural safety and seismic standards;
- ADA compliant structure that features widened travel lanes, a center median, widened sidewalks and new bike lanes;
- Open for travel to pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and commercial vehicles;
- Features to capture the bridge's rich history;
- Ensure westside San Bernardino residents and businesses have a safe, reliable bridge that will continue to serve the community for generations to come.
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