M375A Historic Oak Grove Bridge

The Historic Oak Grove Bridge (Mineral King Road Bridge) (bridge) is located approximately six miles east of Three Rivers near the entrance to Sequoia National Park in the County of Tulare (County). The bridge is an approximately 108-foot-long structure providing access across the East Fork of the Kaweah River. The existing bridge, constructed in 1923, is considered a historic resource. The bridge received a low sufficiency rating and was flagged as structurally deficient due to deterioration of the bridge over time. Previously, the County, in cooperation with the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), proposed to rehabilitate the bridge to correct seismic deficiencies to meet current seismic standards, resolve structural deficiencies, and maintain access over the East Fork of the Kaweah River. In 2018, the County and Caltrans completed their analysis of the effect the project may have on the environment for National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) compliance. A NEPA Categorical Exclusion was signed by Caltrans on August 8, 2018 and a CEQA Mitigated Negative Declaration was adopted by the County on January 24, 2019. Alternative 1 (Rehabilitation Alternative) was selected as the preferred alternative. Recently, an additional corrosion assessment of the bridge was conducted, and rehabilitation of the bridge was determined infeasible due to poor condition of the entire existing structural section of bridge arches. As such, the County and Caltrans now propose to construct a new bridge on a new alignment immediately upstream of the existing bridge. The existing bridge would be retained for non-vehicular use.