Phase Four of a $16 million construction project to widen Newhall Ranch Road’s bridge is set to start later this summer, bringing residents more access to walkways and trails that will run underneath the bridge by the San Francisquito Creek.
The project, underway since May 2017, is on track to be completed in October. The city has already updated widened and added a traffic signal at the intersection of Avenue Tibbitts and Newhall Ranch Road. A new bridge on the eastbound side of the road was also constructed alongside the old bridge where current eastbound traffic runs.
Upon completion, the strip between Avenue Tibbitts and McBean Parkway on Newhall Ranch Road will have four eastbound traffic lanes and four westbound traffic lines with a raised landscape median in the middle, two more than the current conditions. There will be a new trail connection under the crossing on the west side and over the San Francisquito Creek.
The sidewalk on the eastbound side of the bridge will also be eight feet wider and the west side will be two feet wider, said project manager Balvinder Sandhu.
Newhall Ranch Road is known as a “cross-valley connector” major road, as it connects Interstate 5 to Highway 14. This meant the need for an update was more dire due to the bridge’s age, and to improve traffic circulation to accommodate a growing population, Sandhu said.
Just last Friday, eastbound traffic was switched to the new, wider side of the road where the new bridge is.
Currently, three lanes are open in either direction while the landscape median is constructed. Traffic on both directions of the bridge remains open during the work, which is expected to continue, Sandhu said.
By the project’s end in the upcoming months, as the creek comes back for the rainy season, a barrier for the bridge on the northwest side of the road will also be in place.
Santa Clarita residents can expect construction to work during the weekdays from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Funding for the bridge widening was a collaborative effort between the city, Los Angeles County, the Federal Highway Administration and the California Department of Transportation. The project is in alignment with the city’s five-year Santa Clarita 2020 plan theme of building and creating community.