Caltrans – U.S. Highway 50 Echo Summit Sidehill Viaduct Replacement Project

Perched on a steep mountainside with Lake Tahoe in view, the U.S. Highway 50 Echo Summit Sidehill Viaduct could not be replaced using conventional methods – that would mean shutting down U.S. Highway 50 during the busy tourist season when businesses were already struggling due to COVID. There simply was not enough space to stage one-half of the work at a time. The $14.1 million solution built around and behind the existing foundation – constructing a bridge around the existing bridge – all done with live traffic passing overhead. Accelerated Bridge Construction methods, which included a full closure for up to two weeks, completed the remaining work faster and more efficiently while reducing the economic impact to the Tahoe Basin business community and travel inconvenience for residents and visitors. This innovative solution resulted in a full highway closure and the roadway reopened in only nine days, five days ahead of schedule – a huge relief to the business community and the local economy.