Fresno River Viaduct

Coordinates: 36°58′59″N 120°01′45″W / 36.983069°N 120.029177°W / 36.983069; -120.029177
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The Fresno River Viaduct near completion in February 2017
Aerial view of the viaduct near completion in August 2017

The Fresno River Viaduct is a bridge to carry California High-Speed Rail over Route 145, the Fresno River, and Raymond Road in Madera County, California.[1]

It was completed in 2018,[2] the first permanent structure built for CAHSR.[3] The site is just east of the city limits of Madera, California,[3] about 20 miles northwest of the planned Fresno high-speed rail station and about 10 miles southeast of the planned Chowchilla Wye.[4] Because the site is downstream from the John Franchi Diversion Dam, the riverbed is normally dry unless heavy rains cause the dam to overtop.[5][6] The bridge is 1,600 feet long[1] and 25 feet high,[3] and runs parallel to the BNSF Railway bridge over the Fresno River.[7]


Construction began in June 2015.[1] Initial work consisted of assembling rebar cages for the bridge columns and pouring concrete.[7] In August 2015, temporary cofferdams were erected to excavate sand to construct the bridge's structural supports.[8] By the end of October 2015, the work on the piles had ended and the rebar skeletons of the 16 columns had been erected.[9]

In late March 2016, concrete began to be poured for the bridge's superstructure.[10] In October 2016, the final span of the bridge was being constructed and the rest of the deck was complete, with preparations commencing for installation of the deck's barrier wall.[11]

A year later, in September 2017, the bridge's structure was largely complete, although track and electrical work remained for a future phase of construction.[12]


  1. ^ a b c Sheehan, Tim (2015-06-16). "Heavy equipment finally moving on California high-speed rail construction". Fresno Bee. Retrieved 2015-10-30.
  2. ^ Jarvis, Scott. "2018: A year of progress and change for California's high-speed rail project". Global Railway Review. Retrieved 22 April 2021.
  3. ^ a b c Yurong, Dale (2015-06-16). "We're seeing our first signs of construction for the California High Speed Rail project". ABC30 Fresno. Retrieved 2015-10-30.
  4. ^ "Merced to Fresno Project Section". California High-Speed Rail. Retrieved 2015-10-30.
  5. ^ "Final Environmental Impact Report/Statement, Merced to Fresno: Hydrology and Water Resources" (PDF). California High-Speed Rail Authority. April 2012. pp. 11, 20. Retrieved 2015-11-01.
  6. ^ "Foxglove Shopping Center Draft EIR: Hydrology and Water Quality" (PDF). City of Madera. May 2011. p. 2. Retrieved 2015-11-01.
  7. ^ a b "First Concrete Poured for High-Speed Rail". SCV News. 2015-06-27. Retrieved 2015-10-30.
  8. ^ "High-Speed Rail: Cofferdams Installed in Fresno". SCV News. 2015-08-28. Retrieved 2015-10-30.
  9. ^ Sheehan, Tim (2015-10-30). "High speed rail: Crews prepare next step to building viaduct over Fresno River". Fresno Bee. Retrieved 2015-10-31.
  10. ^ Lurie, George (2016-04-21). "Rail projects begin to alter Valley landscape, impact local businesses". The Business Journal. Archived from the original on 2016-04-22. Retrieved 2016-05-02.
  11. ^ "October 2016 Construction Update" (PDF). California High-Speed Rail Authority. October 2016. Retrieved 2016-11-02.
  12. ^ "September 2017 Construction Update" (PDF). California High-Speed Rail Authority. September 2017. Retrieved 2017-12-19.

External links[edit]

36°58′59″N 120°01′45″W / 36.983069°N 120.029177°W / 36.983069; -120.029177