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The Completion of the Santa Ana Bridge Replacement Project
VCPWA takes Crucial Step towards the removal of the Matilija Dam
By: Ventura County Public Works Agency
VCPWA started construction of the project in April 2021. The old bridge design created a bottleneck in the river, constricting the floodplain and resulting in an upstream buildup of sand and gravel. VCPWA has now replaced this with a 350‐foot‐long, three‐span bridge, which corrects this constriction, meets current seismic standards, includes a 4-foot-wide sidewalk across the north side of the bridge, and shoulders on both sides of the road as it approaches the bridge.
"Another project completed which is a crucial step towards the removal of the Matilija Dam. This new, wider, longer, and taller replacement bridge will enhance sediment transport and fish passage." said Glenn Shephard, Director of VCPWA-Watershed Protection. The Santa Ana Bridge Replacement and roadway modifications were a project of VCPWA-Roads & Transportation.
In addition, the bridge replacement is one of the gateways to the removal of Matilija Dam — an essential project for the long-term environmental health of the Ventura River watershed. This project, funded by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, aims to restore fish habitat, biodiversity, and coastal wetland ecosystems.
"There is a lot of anticipation around the removal of the Matilija Dam, and with the replacement of the bridge, we can finally begin to see the plan coming to fruition," said Supervisor La Vere. "We are excited to begin this phase of the project to ensure the safety of our residents in Ventura County, and our endangered wildlife as well."
About Ventura County Public Works Agency
The Ventura County Public Works Agency (VCPWA) strives to deliver innovative, efficient, and cost-effective regional services that are essential to the health, safety, natural resources protection, and economic vitality of Ventura County and its residents. Established in 1954, VCPWA employs more than 400 employees and consists of five departments:
VCPWA continues to receive nationwide attention for its work in improving, innovating, and ensuring projects for Ventura County's unincorporated roads, watersheds, levees, bridges, infrastructures, water, and sanitation facilities.