Se­ri­ous makeover on­go­ing for his­toric bridge

Marysville Appeal-Democrat - - LOCAL / MORE LOCAL ON A5 - By Chris Kauf­man

The his­toric Bridge­port Cov­ered Bridge is get­ting a se­ri­ous makeover and, ac­cord­ing to a com­mit­tee mem­ber, it will be open to foot traf­fic in less than two years.

Built in 1862, the 208foot span truss bridge was used for ve­hi­cle traf­fic un­til 1972 and foot traf­fic un­til 2011, when it was closed. A growing num­ber of sup­port­ers are work­ing to re­store it to its orig­i­nal glory – with some up­grades.

“It’s got the longest clear span of any cov­ered bridge and I think ev­ery­one wants to get it re­paired to make it last an­other 150 years,” said Doug Moon, chair of the Save Our Bridge Cam­paign Com­mit­tee.

Moon said the bridge, which is in the Na­tional Reg­is­ter of His­toric Places and is a Cal­i­for­nia His­tor­i­cal Land­mark, has far-reach­ing ap­peal.

“It’s not just lo­cal and state. We have a na­tion­wide in­ter­est in the bridge, and the Na­tional So­ci­ety for the Preser­va­tion of Cov­ered Bridges has been run­ning sto­ries about it,” Moon said. “Peo­ple want to see this bridge re­stored.”

Of the 700,000 an­nual vis­i­tors to the South Yuba River State Park, where the bridge is lo­cated, Moon said many are from Marysville and Yuba City.

“It’s a big eco­nomic driver in our area and the state park gets a lot of vis­i­tors com­ing to see the bridge,” Moon said. “It’s a very in­ex­pen­sive trip – it’s $5 for park­ing and you have ac­cess to all the hik­ing and beaches for fam­i­lies to swim in and pic­nic.”

Moon said a re­cent trip

to the State Capi­tol was a promis­ing move in get­ting the bridge re­stored.

“The state has hired a con­sul­tant to stream­line the per­mit­ting process and move the fund­ing and project up a year,” said Moon.

Ini­tial es­ti­mates had the com­ple­tion of the restora­tion in 2018 or 2019, but with state sup­port, Moon said, that’ll move the time­line up.

“There’s an army of agen­cies that are go­ing to be in­volved – it in­volves about ev­ery agency you can imag­ine to get things done,” he said.

He added that Gov.

Jerry Brown and other state lead­ers are helping to move the project for­ward as well as a large con­tin­gent of more lo­cal or­ga­ni­za­tions, busi­nesses and elected of­fi­cials in the Ne­vada County area.

He said fundrais­ing ef­forts are still needed to se­cure $2.6 mil­lion for the con­struc­tion phase.

“We have all the money avail­able to get though the de­sign/en­gi­neer­ing part of the process, which is $1.3 mil­lion,” he said.

Moon said the bridge will be hiked up 2 feet higher to ac­count for flood­ing.

Up­com­ing events will show­case the bridge and park.

Ckauf­man@ap­pealdemo­ Brian Hamil­ton/ The Grass Val­ley Union

A growing num­ber of sup­port­ers are work­ing to re­store the Bridge­port Cov­ered Bridge to its orig­i­nal glory – with some up­grades.

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