An investigation into the deaths of two construction workers who fell to their deaths while working on the new Winters Bridge is going to take some time, a representative of the state's Occupational Safety and Health Administration reported this week.
Greg Siggins, a spokesman for Cal-OSHA reported that the agency has until Oct. 30 to look into and release its findings of the fatal May 30 plunge that killed two workers for the Bay Area-based Disney Construction Co.
Yolo County authorities reported the men were Marcus Zane Powell, 25, of Los Gatos, and Glenn Hodgson, 49, of Richmond.
Winters Fire Department officials reported the accident occurred just before 7 a.m. on May 30 as Powell and Hodgson were suspended by a crane about 80 feet in the air and fell on the Yolo County side of the construction site at the new Winters Bridge on Railroad Avenue. They were declared dead at the scene.
The men, landed on wooden beams stretched across a hole dug to hold the anchor system for the footing of the new bridge, said Winters Fire Chief Aaron McAlister.
According to the Sacramento Bee, Disney Construction founder and owner Richard Disney said shortly after the accident the cable holding the cage didn't break. Siggins couldn't comment on specifics, noting the incident was under investigation.
Siggins said that while Cal-OSHA has until the end of October to to deliver a report, it hopes to have it earlier, depending on the findings.
Crews were building the foundation for the new span at the time of the accident. In September, city and county officials celebrated the future bridge at a groundbreaking ceremony. In January the demolition of the old bridge started and a temporary bridge now fills the gap. Disney Construction also put the temporary bridge in place.
The 102-year-old, three-span bridge known as the "welcome mat to Winters" will be replaced with a five-span concrete bridge that will include two traffic lanes, a sidewalk and crosswalk for a connection with an adjacent trestle bridge. It will also include two belvederes for viewing Putah Creek and pedestrian lighting.
Set to open in 2015, the new bridge will be approximately 475 feet long by 40 feet wide.
"The crane did not topple over," McAlister told The Bee. "These two individuals suffered a fatal fall. The accident location is on the Yolo side, the footings on the Winters side."
A temporary bridge was in the place of the old bridge and the footings of the new bridge were under construction when the accident happened.
The waters of Putah Creek have undermined the foundations of the bridge, and officials have known since 1981 that it would have to be replaced. The push to get that done began in 2000, when Solano County and the city of Winters joined forces to seek federal funding, finish environmental work, design the bridge and find a contractor.