Substrate’s Southern Heights Boulevard Bridge Replacement wins Best Highway/Bridge Project in Engineering News Record California’s 2022 Best Projects

Industry: Real Estate

Substrate’s Southern Heights Boulevard Bridge Replacement wins Best Highway/Bridge Project in Engineering News Record - California’s 2022 Best Projects Competition

San Francisco Bay Area, CA (PRUnderground) August 12th, 2022

The Southern Heights Bridge Replacement project has won in 3 different categories of Engineering News-Record’s (ENR) 2022 Best Projects competition. The project won the following:

  • Best Highway/Bridge Project
  • Excellence of Sustainability Award – Northern California,
  • Excellence in Safety Award – Northern California, Award of Merit

Almost 100 projects from across California and Hawaii were reviewed by an independent panel of experts in consideration for these awards.

Substrate provided comprehensive construction management services for the award-winning Southern Heights Boulevard Bridge Replacement for the City of San Rafael. Substrate provided the Resident Engineer/Structure’s Representative, Public Outreach and Senior Inspector and oversaw the entire project from pre-construction to post-construction. The CM team also consisted of sub-consultants Miller Pacific Engineering Group, who provided material and source inspection; and Verux, Inc who provided SWPPP QA inspections.

“If working on a greater than 1:1 slope wasn’t hard enough, how about a wet winter start, restless residents and a roadside slip-out that started on the onset of the project?  With the card’s already stacked against the project, Disney and Substrate had to work together to ensure Safety, Efficiency, and Quality was achieved given such access constraints” – Sunny Jhutti, PE, SE – Resident Engineer/Structure’s Representative – Substrate, Inc

The approximate $3 million-dollar Southern Heights Boulevard Bridge Replacement Project replaced an over 90-year-old timber trestle bridge that spanned a large ravine in the of hills just south of downtown San Rafael with a new, wider, stronger, fire-resistant, 3-span cast-in-place reinforced concrete bridge that meets current seismic codes. The original wood bridge, which was built in 1930 was 9 ft wide by 127 ft long. The new bridge and approach railings matched the aesthetics of the existing bridge and retained the character of the neighborhood.

The major elements of work for this project were the following:

  • Removal and recycling the existing Timber Trestle Bridge. Over 90% of the bridge was recycled.
  • Developed access to construct the bridge on a steeper than 1:1 hillside condition immediately adjacent to residents, while maintaining safe access, and protecting downhill residents.
  • Drilled 36” Diameter Cast-in-Drilled Hole Wet Piles approximately 40 ft into the sandstone below.
  • Placed Lightweight Cellular Concrete Backfill behind the bridge Abutments.
  • Built a Lightweight Falsework System on a suitable and safe Falsework Pad.
  • Restored Slope under bridge and installed Erosion Control Measures, and Rock Slope Protection.
  • Constructed a Soldier Pile Wall with concrete facing.
  • Constructed the Bridge and Railings.
  • Installed Waterline Brackets and coordinated the construction of the new 6” bridge waterline.
  • Reconstructed over 250ft of HMA approach pavement and constructed new driveways and fences.
  • Removed large diameter invasive trees and planted (9) new native trees with irrigation system.
  • Installed a Built-in downcast LED bridge lighting system.

“The project team worked together to deliver this challenging unique project safely in a limited access and steep job site – all of this required a willingness to put Safety First by both Contractor and the Construction Manager.” – Sunny Jhutti, PE, SE – Substrate, Inc.  There were no SAFETY INCIDENTS on this project.

  • PROJECT: Southern Height Blvd Bridge Replacement
  • LOCATION: San Rafael, CA
  • OWNER: City of San Rafael
  • PROJECT MANAGER: Mr. Theo Sanchez, PE
  • DESIGNER: Mark Thomas
  • CONTRACTOR: Disney Construction, Inc
  • CM Team: Substrate, Inc
  • COST: $3.1 million
  • FIRST WORKING DAY: Dec 14, 2020
  • COMPLETION DATE: Dec 14, 2021

“Due to agency, team member, and local cooperation and coordination, this high-quality project was delivered safely in one construction season, which is significant given the winter start and tight access. Though this project had only informal Partnering, it very well can be a case study for Partnering for a project of it size.”  – Sunny Jhutti, PE, SE


About Substrate, Inc

Substrate, Inc is a unique Bay Area based firm providing full service structural engineering and construction management services to bridge, building, and roadway clients.

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