Contact: Tim Watkins
Chief, Legislative and Public Affairs
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SAN BERNARDINO – Assembly Bill 1523, sponsored by the San Bernardino County Transportation Authority (SBCTA), was signed by Governor Jerry Brown on Monday, July 31, 2017.
AB 1523 was introduced by Assemblymember Jay Obernolte (R-Big Bear) and joint authored by Assemblymember Eloise Gomez Reyes (D-San Bernardino). The bill will enable SBCTA to use the design-build procurement method on the Mt. Vernon Viaduct project in the City of San Bernardino, helping to speed up project delivery on a critical north-south arterial for the city.
“The Mt. Vernon Bridge has been in need of a major safety renovation for 20 years,” Assemblyman Obernolte said. “AB 1523 gives us a tool to undertake that construction project in an efficient process that limits delays and bureaucratic red tape.”
Assemblymember Reyes added, “I am proud to have joined my colleague, Assemblymember Jay Obernolte as a joint author of AB 1523. The Mt. Vernon Viaduct is a top priority and with AB 1523’s passage, we are closer to rebuilding the bridge that connects our communities in the heart of San Bernardino.”
In 2016, SBCTA entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the City of San Bernardino to oversee the bridge replacement project.
“We recognize and appreciate the leadership and hard work of Assemblymembers Obernolte and Reyes in getting AB 1523 passed,” said SBCTA Board President Alan Wapner. “AB 1523 will enable SBCTA to address a major safety concern in the bridge and get moving even faster on building a new bridge to serve local residents.”
The Mt. Vernon Avenue Viaduct is a 1,016 foot bridge, built in 1934, which has been considered structurally deficient and functionally obsolete by Caltrans since 1997 and closed to commercial traffic since 2008. This major north-south arterial within the City of San Bernardino spans over multiple railways, many of which carry passengers daily. The bridge’s unique positioning over an active railway is an extreme circumstance that warrants addressing the safety concerns as quickly as possible.