Drivers heading into downtown Fresno may have to take a detour starting Monday as preparations begin on the demolition of the Tuolumne Street bridge.
The one-way bridge, which carries eastbound traffic across the Union Pacific Railroad freight tracks in downtown Fresno, is being leveled to make way for California’s high-speed train project.
It will be replaced by a taller two-way bridge that will accommodate the clearances necessary for high-speed trains and the electrical lines to power them. The two-way bridge also will allow for the demolition of the nearby westbound Stanislaus Street bridge.
Demolition of Tuolumne Street bridge and construction of new bridge expected to take 10-12 months.
Detours will direct drivers around the demolition and construction area, according to the California High-Speed Rail Authority. The demolition work is expected to begin in mid-January and take two to three months, followed by construction of the new bridge. The demolition and construction are expected to take 10 to 12 months in total.
During the work, Tuolumne Street will be closed between Broadway and F streets. G and H streets also will be subject to periodic closures while the work moves forward. Drivers heading east on Tuolumne Street will be rerouted to head south on F Street to Fresno Street. Stanislaus Street will be unaffected by the demolition work “and won’t be touched until everything is finished with Tuolumne Street,” said Toni Tinoco, a rail authority spokeswoman.
The Tuolumne and Stanislaus bridges both have two traffic lanes. The new Tuolumne bridge will have one eastbound and one westbound lane.