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Cold Camp Nine Bridge Removal, New Melones Lake, CA

Accord Engineering was contracted by the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) New Melones Lake Station to implement a permit-design-construction contract for the removal and restoration of the Old Camp Nine Bridge site. This was the first time that BOR procured a contract in this streamlined arrangement. The conventional process involves permitting, engineering design, and construction as three separate contracts, and takes 2 to 3 years to complete. This unique project required Accord Engineering to provide integrated permitting, engineering and construction services to complete the project within 1 year from the of notice-to-proceed date.

The $1.3M project was for the removal of an old steel bridge from an upstream tributary of New Melones Lake while preserving the historical landmark associated with the bridge foundation and site location. Due to structural deterioration and possible inundation during the high-water season, the bridge poses safety hazards to recreational users at the site. Due to the location of the bridge, it can only be removed during the low-water season to minimize impacts to fish and water quality in the stream. The site is located in wildlife habitats that include the American Bald Eagle,making protection and management of natural resources critical to the construction phase. In the staged process, the permit and design are not fully integrated and often causes inconsistencies that jeopardize the project progress. Additionally, uncertainties on outcomes from the environmental permitting required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process could complicate design and construction.

The project was awarded in two phases to minimize the risk of the environmental permitting process exceeding the baseline schedule. Funding and award of the second phase (construction) were contingent upon the success of first phase (permitting and design). The first phase required the NEPA permit be completed in 9 months from the award for this unique project so that the construction could be implemented in the low water season between August and October. The NEPA permit requires consultation with California Department of Fish and Game, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

More pictures from this very important project