Sacramento’s iconic Tower Bridge is out of commission for large boat traffic.
Officials at the California Department of Transportation report the motor that allows the middle section of the bridge to lift vertically for boats to pass underneath is broken. Caltrans has said the motor broke due to old age, not as a result of any of the storms or power outages the region has seen recently.
“There’s some electrical repairs that are needed. Part of the reason why it’s taking a little longer than usual is it’s a specialty skill that needs to get done, so due to the holidays we’re trying to find a person who specializes in that repair,” Angela DaPrato, spokesperson for Caltrans said.
The bridge remains open to vehicle traffic. Boats that are small enough to fit underneath without the bridge lifting are still allowed to pass during this time.
DaPrato could not provide an estimate for when the bridge might be repaired, but said Caltrans is working to fix the situation as quickly as possible.
“It’s definitely a staple and an icon for the Sacramento area and it’s been around for a long time, so we just ask everyone for their patience, and we’re making the proper improvements to make sure it has the longevity in the future,” DaPrato added.
A secondary motor is still operational, but Caltrans has said it’s trying to use that motor sparingly for the moment to avoid getting that section of the bridge permanently stuck. For emergency boats needing to cross underneath, the department says it will require about 4 hours advance notice.
The last time the bridge malfunctioned was this past May, when a motor broke and the middle part of the bridge didn’t fully return to its normal position.
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