Structure of El Chaparral bridge in Tijuana is strengthened with high-quality specialty engineering

The Municipal Administration of Tijuana is currently doing repairs at the El Chaparral bridge so that it can withstand 15,000 daily vehicles

The Municipal Administration of Tijuana, through the Secretariat of Territory, Urban, and Environmental Development (SDTUA), is currently doing repair work at the El Chaparral bridge that has been showing structural damage that puts vehicles that cross it daily at risk for a few months now. It should be noted that alongside this Secretariat, external supervisors are currently providing support to help repair it when necessary.

Regarding the work carried out which started in July-August 2023, the mayor of Tijuana stated that this project built by the federal government will be repaired by the municipal government, after the support provided by the Presidency of Mexico to rebuild the project at Cañón del Matadero, affected by heavy rain.

Even when the municipality had the executive aid to strengthen this bridge, according to structural analysis assessed by the School of Engineers and Architects of Tijuana, State, and Federation, and the project continued, workers found more structural flaws that they had not contemplated which is why the repair deadline has extended.

The flaws have been repaired with high-quality specialty engineering, which is why the delivery of this project will be extended so that when this new bridge is open to traffic, it can withstand 15,000 daily cars through a length of 450 lineal meters.

While doing rounds at the El Chaparral bridge, the head SDTUA alongside the Municipal Agency of Projects and Urban Infrastructure (DOIUM), explained the reasons why the Municipal Administration, alongside experts from all levels of government, decided to completely close off this place which is the detection of structural flaws that even media outlets had pointed out.

To repair this area, the project was also approved by members of the Committee of Municipal Bridges alongside proper specialties and authorities through preliminary assessments.

At the closure of the lane from Mexico into the United States through the San Ysidro port of entry area to Vía Rápida Poniente, supervisors arrived to oversee this project that has also been approved by professionals from the Secretariat of Infrastructure, Communications, and Transportation (SICT).

This project, which has not been properly delivered to the municipal administration and does not need to be demolished but strengthened, was repaired as a priority ordered by the municipal president due to how important safety of citizens is for this government, not to mention the citizen, moral, and political responsibility from authorities.

According to the projects and repair plans, detailed technical explanations says that the bridge has 5 boards, columns, and girders where insertions and openings on the bearing's surface were carried out to access and review the structure.

During this process, the head of SDTUA recalled that the desynchronizations of the boards caused the danger as well as the lack of support and seismic bumps. This is why in this project, they are adding new Tetron support and seismic bumps on all boards.

In addition, he stated that when carrying out these repairs, they detected flaws on welding and the strengthening of the structure that could damage and call into question the existence of this bridge, which is why he insisted to consult specialists so that they could evaluate the current structural work.

He claimed that five boards have been identified, which have shown 100% of total progress. There is also 50% progress made regarding Tetron support, which are 40 in total, and that represents support for girders and slabs.

In addition, he said that 60% of seismic bumps to guarantee stability have been installed, which is why no demolition was required like in other bridges; only high-quality specialty engineering repairs were needed to strengthen the structure.

Taking into account this progress, the Municipal Administration expects to open this bridge to traffic at the end of May or in the first week of June, when work in the upper area will be concluded. However, work will continue in the lower area regarding refurbishing the bridge to guarantee safety when moving in this zone.

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