The Jessen Drive Bridge isn't necessarily a bridge too far. But it is a bridge too old, at least as far as the city is concerned. It's been planning its replacement for at least a decade. And now those plans are coming to fruition.
The two-lane wood-and-steel trestle bridge, built over Earle Canyon in the 1930s, serves as the main route for the parents and students who reside west of Palm Drive to reach Palm Crest Elementary. It is tentatively scheduled to be demolished in early April, according to city engineer Ying Kwan.
It will be replaced by a girder bridge made of precast, reinforced-concrete and will provide two lanes of traffic, wider shoulders and a sidewalk on the west side of the bridge.
The new bridge is expected to be open for traffic in September.
The old bridge's problem is, at least partly, one of numbers. It was rated a 47.8 on the Caltrans Sufficiency Rating scale this year. Caltrans requires that any bridge rated less than 50 be replaced.