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The Caltrans Vertical Clearance project, nicknamed “Raise 80”, increased the vertical clearance of nine structures which cross Interstate 80 (I-80) in Placer County. The overcrossings extend from the Brace Road overcrossing in Loomis to the Magra Road overcrossing east of Colfax and includes eight vehicle bridges and one railroad trestle.

The vertical clearance of these structures was raised to 16-feet 6-inches to meet federal standards that improve access on I-80 through the Sierra for interstate commerce and national security. Seven structures were raised using a complex system of jacks and reconstruction, and the roadway under the two other structures was excavated down to achieve the required clearance.

In addition to new paving and striping on the lifted overcrossings and adjacent roadway, the project also included new bridge railings – including some with decorative motifs, sidewalk replacement, new bridge barrier fencing – including bicycle barrier fencing on three of the more heavily traveled bridges – Horseshoe Bar Road, Gilardi Road and Penryn Road, landscaping at Horseshoe Bar Road, drainage/erosion control, and new metal beam guardrail.

Project Facts

  • Project cost: $36 million
  • Contractor: RGW Construction, Inc. Livermore, California
  • Project duration: April 2014 to August 2016
  • Overcrossings weigh between 2 million and 4 million pounds
  • Overcrossings were lifted 16-22 inches to achieve the required 16 feet, 6 inches of clearance
  • Utilities, including the waterline on Gilardi Road, were relocated and reconnected
  • Overcrossing clearance achieved:
    • Magra Overcrossing – Lift completed September 2014
    • Penryn Road Overcrossing – Lift completed November 2014
    • Brace Road Overcrossing – Lift completed January 2015
    • Gilardi Road Overcrossing – Lift completed March 2015
    • Horseshoe Bar Road Overcrossing – Lift completed (one night) April 2015
    • Weimar Cross Road Overcrossing – Excavation work completed April/May 2015
    • King Road Overcrossing – Lift completed (one night) June 2015
    • Newcastle Road Overcrossing – Lift completed (one night) March 2016
    • Newcastle Union Pacific Railroad Overcrossing – Excavation work completed April 2016
  • Estimated amount of goods transported per hour/per day through project — $4.7 million
  • Project impacts include:
    • Reduction in number of large trucks forced to use surface streets because of insufficient vertical clearance on Interstate 80;
    • Greater interstate mobility of larger military vehicles for national security;
  • Project outreach to local communities through website – raise80.com , Facebook (more than 800 followers), Twitter (more than 190 followers), local media and community partners.


This video was taken at the Penryn overcrossing lift on November 12 and 13. This lift process will be the same on all six lifts. The three other structures will achieve their vertical clearance by lowering the roadway through dig out and adding drainage.