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T.Y. Lin International Wins Top Honors for El Salto Falls Street Bridge over Buena Vista Creek

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T.Y. Lin International (TYLI), a globally recognized, full-service infrastructure consulting firm, announces that the El Salto Falls Street Bridge over Buena Vista Creek in Carlsbad, California, has won two industry awards. The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), San Diego Chapter, selected the bridge as 2017 Outstanding Civil Engineering Project of the Year (Bridge Category). The American Public Works Association (APWA), San Diego & Imperial Counties Chapter, named the project 2017 Public Works Project of the Year (Structures Category $2 - $5 million). TYLI provided design engineering and construction management services for the project.

The El Salto Falls Street Bridge is a three-span spliced girder bridge connecting two sides of The Preserve at Carlsbad, a new housing development. To meet the project’s tight schedule and budget, TYLI developed an innovative bridge design using high-performance precast concrete that allowed bridge construction to proceed without entering a 170-foot-wide by 90-foot-long Environmentally Sensitive Area. This eliminated the lengthy process of obtaining the regulatory permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and averted construction delays.

Access from the top of the creek banks was also limited to a 90-foot-wide construction easement. Utilizing three-stage accelerated bridge construction, TYLI’s design plan implemented innovative construction methods to keep all work outside creek limits. These included the placement of the precast girders for the end spans cantilevered over the creek, 30 feet past the piers, and placement of the 120-foot-long center span girders using a two-crane operation and a midair hand-off over the creek.

“T.Y. Lin International’s design for the El Salto Falls Street Bridge over Buena Vista Creek met the project’s environmental constraints and fulfilled all functionality, aesthetic, and schedule requirements,” said Joseph Smith, P.E., C.C.M., TYLI Vice President. “We thank the ASCE, San Diego Chapter, and the APWA, San Diego & Imperial Counties Chapter, for recognizing the noteworthy civil engineering achievements represented by this project.”

In addition to carrying pedestrian, bicycle, and vehicular traffic, the El Salto Falls Street Bridge supports two 12-inch-diameter water lines, a six-inch-diameter recycled waterline, and a 12-inch-diameter gravity sewer line that is suspended below the soffit of the bridge. Having the sewer line operational by the start of homebuilding on the north side of the bridge was critically important to the project owner. To meet this requirement, TYLI adjusted the work plan to place the sewer line and other utilities under the bridge after the bridge main spans were installed, rather than concentrating efforts on completing the deck and bridge barriers.

The El Salto Falls Street Bridge over Buena Vista Creek project was completed on schedule and within budget in August 2016. In addition to these awards, the Construction Management Association of America (CMAA), San Diego Chapter, also recognized the project with a 2017 Project Achievement Award in the category of Transportation Less than $15 million.