Calaveras County has secured $7.5 million in federal funds to upgrade or replace the O´Byrnes Ferry Road Bridge to better accommodate the rapid growth of the area.
The bridge has linked Calaveras and Tuolumne Counties for nearly 50 years. Rob Houghton, Calaveras County Public Works Director, said the bridge, built by Tri Dam in 1957 as part of the Tulloch Resevoir project, is too narrow to handle today´s traffic, let alone the cars and trucks that will come as Copperopolis continues to grow. The bridge has just two 11-foot travel lanes and no shoulders. Current standards call for 12-foot lane widths and 8-foot shoulders.
Under the current bridge design, the state Department of Transportation considers the bridge “functionally obsolete,” Houghton said.