Built in 1967, the Fair Oaks Avenue Bridge crosses over the Caltrain tracks and Hendy Avenue in Sunnyvale. Although retrofitted in 1981 and 1993, after more than 50 years of use, the bridge began substantial repair to address structural deficiencies including severe deck cracking and spalling. The $23.6 million rehabilitation will not only improve bridge safety by addressing structural issues; it will also help improve pedestrian, bicycle, and ADA access. Improvements include widening bicycle lanes, installing sidewalks on the bridge, and removing a non-ADA-compliant pedestrian overcrossing.
Construction was divided into five phases, the first of which was to widen the east side add a new sidewalk, and enlarge the bike lane. Next, the contractor removed the existing pedestrian overcrossing and realigned and improved Hendy Avenue, and realigned the roadway along Fair Oaks connecting Hendy and Kifer including intersection improvements. Finally, sewer and water mains were replaced and new landscaping, street lighting, and guardrails were installed.
Efficient Construction Management
Ghirardelli Associates (Ghirardelli) is supported by providing comprehensive construction management services including resident engineering, structures representation, structures inspection, civil inspection, and office engineering. The project posed several challenges that our team overcame including extensive structural work and a contractor that was inexperienced with bridge formwork, requiring extensive communication and coordination.
To effectively address these challenges, we assigned two structure representatives to observe and verify the quality of footing and abutment retrofits, shear wall construction, and hing restrainers. Our team also inspected Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymer (CFRP) bar, and CFRP fabric soffit reinforcement. Relocating the three bridge columns required constructing bent drop caps with new footings and columns before the existing columns could be removed. Additionally, our team inspected and observed construction for retaining walls, concrete barriers, and a polyester concrete overlay.
Improved Pedestrian Access
Because the bridge is a key connection for the community, the city wanted to maintain one travel lane and one bike lane in each direction during construction; however, some short-term lane closures were required to safety complete portions of the work. Pedestrian access over the Caltrain corridor was maintained until bridge construction was complete. Also, the Hendy Ave underpass area was closed during bridge foundation construction and bridge reconstruction.