COUNTYWIDE : Caltrans to Begin Bridge Demolition

The California Department of Transportation will begin demolishing the Lincoln Avenue bridge over the Santa Ana Freeway in Santa Ana.

Beginning today, workers will close most freeway lanes at night in order to complete the demolition within a week, according to Maureena Duran-Rojas, Caltrans public information officer.

A longer bridge will be built so that a wider freeway can pass under it. Reconstruction of the bridge will close down Lincoln Avenue for about two years.

The $26-million, four-year project calls for reconstruction of the Seventeenth Street freeway underpass and the 20th Street pedestrian walkway as well as the Lincoln Avenue overpass, Duran-Rojas said. The Lincoln Avenue bridge demolition is the first step in the project.

At 11 p.m. Monday, and again on Wednesday, Caltrans will close all southbound freeway lanes between 17th Street and Grand Avenue and two northbound lanes until 5 a.m. On Tuesday and Thursday, all northbound lanes along that same stretch will be closed as well as two of the southbound lanes.

Finally, on Friday, and on March 21, all lanes of the freeway will be closed from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. between the Seventeenth Street and Grand Avenue exits.

No freeway lane closures are planned for the night of March 20, Duran-Rojas said.

To bypass the construction closures, Caltrans officials suggest two possible detours:

* Northbound motorists should take the Costa Mesa Freeway to the westbound Garden Grove Freeway, which connects with the northbound Santa Ana Freeway.

* Southbound motorists should exit at State College Boulevard and The City Drive, head south on The City Drive to the eastbound Garden Grove Freeway. Motorists would then connect with the southbound Costa Mesa Freeway back to the southbound Santa Ana Freeway.

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