PA ID# 083-00000; Santa Barbara County
DSR ID# 95679,38837; Pile Foundation Bridge Replacement
Citation: Appeal Brief; Second Appeal; Santa Barbara County; FEMA-1044-DR-CA; PA #083-00000
Cross Reference: DSRs 95679 and 38837; Bridge Replacement; Codes and Standards; Category C
Summary: As a result of the winter storms of 1995, high flood waters damaged a two lane bridge carrying Figueroa Mountain Road over Alamo Pinatado Creek in Santa Barbara County (County), California. FEMA performed an evaluation and determined that structural damage was greater than 50% of the replacement cost. Therefore, the bridge was eligible for replacement. FEMA approved DSR 95679 for $308,320 to replace the bridge with a spread footing foundation design rather than the pile foundation design for $489,172, which was preferred by the County. Subsequently, the County requested an additional $673,000 to design and construct a pile foundation bridge. FEMA determined that this design was an improved design and limited the funding to the approved amount of $308,320, but prepared DSR 38837 for $13,310 to provide for temporary pavement and bridge removal. In the first appeal, the County indicated that a pile foundation design was the most cost effective design based on a hydraulic and cost analysis and that the proposed design was based on County codes and standards (Resolution 93-208). This appeal was denied. The Regional Director determined that the recommended spread footing design incorporated elements to prevent scour and was more cost effective than the pile foundation. The Regional Director also determined that Resolution 93-208 was not an applicable code or standard, in accordance with 44 CFR 206.226. In the second appeal, the County reiterates that the pile foundation design is the most cost effective and is required for public safety based on a hydraulic report, a soils report and Caltran's Bridge Design Specifications, which the County adopted. The County further contends that the design recommendations by the FEMA engineer were not specific concerning reduction of scour. In addition, the bridge, which was constructed on piles, withstood the floods of 1998.
Is the County Standard an applicable code or standard mandating the pile foundation design?
Do the soils report and hydraulic study mandate a pile foundation design to adequately address the scour?
Yes. The County Standard is an applicable code or standard, but the specification does not mandate a pile foundation. It does suggest that a pile foundation be considered.
No. The reports indicate a potential problem with scour, but alternative solutions were not discussed, and the spread footing/riprap design was not evaluated. The pile foundation design is clearly an improvement over the approved replacement.