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balboa island LOGO FINAL

After many years of permitting, funding, and design efforts, the existing 86-year old Park Avenue Bridge, which connects Balboa Island to Little Balboa Island, will soon be removed. In its place a new, slightly wider, and more user-friendly replacement will be constructed that carries over much of the same look and feel of the original.

The tentative start of construction is planned for the end of March and will continue into early 2017. The Public Works Department has assembled an experienced project team to deliver this multi-faceted project with the public’s interest at the top of the list.

The Public Works Department has hosted a few community meetings prior to the start of construction and is planning to host more meetings to provide project updates as well as receiving suggestions for improvements.

For project details, contact information and updates, or to join the project mailing list, please visit:

Project Update

The constructor, John S. Meek Company, Inc. (Meek), has installed the mid-span of the temporary steel bridge over the Grand Canal at Balboa Avenue. Meek will continue work on Balboa Avenue to complete the temp bridge ramps, the pedestrian walks, the bridge lighting, and the placement of asphalt vehicle riding surfaces on the steel bridge to minimize road noises during use. When the temporary bridge is open to public use in June, crossing guards will be deployed at the Marine Avenue/Balboa Avenue intersection between the hours of 7AM and 5PM to assist motorists at that normally busy intersection.

In the meantime, Meek is also working with the private utility companies (Southern California Gas, Southern California Edison, etc) to make the required temporary utility crossings over the Grand Canal at Park Avenue to continue serving the Little Balboa Island residents when the regular “lines” within the existing bridge deck are removed along with the old bridge. Once these temporary connections are complete, Meek will close the Park Avenue between Marine Avenue and Abalone Avenue so that its crews can begin to demolish and remove the existing bridge to make space to build the new replacement bridge.

The Project Team expects the project to be complete by late January 2017.

Traffic Impacts

The construction has necessitated the closure of the East and West Grand Canal Boardwalks between Balboa Avenue and Park Avenue to thru-traffic. For your safety, it is imperative that the construction warning and detour signs strategically placed throughout the construction zones are observed and followed. “




Project Background

The Park Avenue Bridge Replacement project was initiated by the City in 2009 to replace the existing bridge that connects Big Balboa Island and Little Balboa Island over the Grand Canal. The existing bridge was constructed in 1928. It was rehabilitated in 1984 which included adding ADA access ramps.

As part of its bi-annual bridge inspection program, the State of California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) classified this bridge as functionally obsolete and therefore included it in the Federal Highway Bridge Program (HBP) for rehabilitation or replacement. Upon the HBP listing, Caltrans and City staff engineers reviewed the available work options and ultimately determined that it will be more cost effective and functional to replace the Bridge.

The City Council, at its February 23, 2016 regular meeting, awarded a construction contract to John S. Meek Company to construct a temporary bridge across the Grand Canal at Balboa Avenue. The temporary bridge will serve as the main ingress/egress for the Little Island, while Meek's crews reconstruct the Park Avenue Bridge. The City Council also awarded a contract to FountainHead Corporation to assist staff in administering and managing this complex project.  

 Park Ave bridge picture_Page_1

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