It turns out the problems with brand new Antelope Valley bridges are more serious than have been portrayed by the city up to now.
A city document indicates all four of the Antelope Valley bridges — spanning O, P, Q and N streets — have evidence of spalling or concrete cracking and falling away.
All of those bridges are new — the oldest one opened in July 2007.
Mayor Chris Beutler went public Thursday with the news that the city had to close bike trails through the Antelope Valley Project area after a piece of concrete fell from the O Street bridge. However, the problem extends beyond just one bridge.
The public works employee who oversees the Antelope Valley Project, Kris Humphrey, said the bridges’ construction and inspection was all done by consultants, although after construction is finished, city employees do a final check. She said final inspections were done for water, wastewater and storm facilities, along with traffic signals and paving.
She also confirmed that the city has had some trouble with Antelope Valley’s pedestrian lights getting water in them. After some of the lights were vandalized, workers discovered water in them and other lights, either from natural condensation in pipes or water getting into them during construction.
Mayor Beutler has said the city will not be paying for the repairs, so who will? According to city documents, Hawkins Construction Co. was the primary contractor for two of the bridges (with multiple subcontractors) and United Contractors, Inc. and Park Construction were the prime contractors on the other two bridges.
The company in charge of both design and engineering for all of the bridges was Parsons Brinckerhoff of New York — one of the world’s largest transportation engineering companies. PB’s design subcontractors were engineering firm Olsson Associates, Erickson Sullivan (which did aesthetics like lights) and HWS Consulting.
PB’s construction subcontractors were Olsson Associates, The Schemmer Associates and HWS.
But Humphrey said it’s too soon to know who is responsible for the cracks under the bridges.
“This is not a black and white issue as there are many firms involved with the design and construction,” she said.