UPDATE (January 21, 2020) – While significant progress has been made on restoration of this historic bridge, the project will not be completed by this spring, as previously scheduled. Details here.
The long-awaited reconstruction of our beloved historic Bridgeport Covered Bridge in the South Yuba River State Park began on June 12, 2019. California State Parks has temporarily closed the south parking lot to day-use parking while the renovation is taking place. Construction is expected to be completed by April 2020.
Originally built in 1862, the bridge was closed to public access after a timber survey in September 2011 revealed significant structural damage. Thanks to the support of the Nevada County community, the Save our Bridge Campaign Committee, and the Legislature, the $6.9 million restoration project, funded with a combination of state and federal funds, is now underway to make the bridge safe again for pedestrian access.
The visitor center and gift shop and historic area of the barn and gas station will remain open during construction. Access to Family and Kneebone beaches will be through the visitor center grounds.
A portion of the river underneath the Bridge will also be closed during construction, with a portage plan. Kayakers and rafters will have the option to remove their crafts from the water above the Bridge and put them back into the water on the other side.
Details at: https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=29821
January 21, 2020 — Save Our Bridge Campaign Committee — Bridgeport Bridge Restoration Project Delayed
November 14, 2019 — The Union — Douglas Moon: Saving the Bridgeport bridge but not done yet
June 12, 2019 — Historic Covered Bridge Restoration Has Begun
July 6, 2018 — Bridgeport Historic Covered Bridge Renovation Project Saved!
January 19, 2018 — Historic Covered Bridge Renovation and Malakoff Solar Projects Move Forward
February 2, 2017 — Bridgeport Historic Covered Bridge Fact Sheet
June 6, 2016 — Next Big Goal Secure Full Funding for Final Construction
January 11, 2016 — Bridgeport Covered Bridge Repair On-track Despite Cost Increases
April 13, 2015 — Renovation of the Bridge Begins
Congratulations, You did it! Funding is in Place to Begin the Restoration Work on Our Bridge.
We can all take a minute to congratulate ourselves on this wonderful community-wide effort to attain the funding necessary to restore and reopen this historic icon. We can savor how, working together, we accomplished this important goal.
Thanks are due to a large number of people and organizations for their unwavering support during this stage of the campaign:
California State Park Foundation
South Yuba River Parks Association
Nevada County Board of Supervisors and especially District 4 Supervisor Hank Weston
Nevada City Council and especially Councilman Robert Bergman
Grass Valley City Council
Truckee Town Council
Bear Yuba Land Trust and especially Outreach Coordinator Laura Brown
All of the Nevada County and City Chambers of Commerce and especially our Chamber coordinator, Susan George
The Economic Resources Council
The Grass Valley Downtown Association
The Nevada County Historical Society
Penn Valley Rodeo Association
SYRPA Webmasters, Steve Pauly and Mike Baca
Sandy Alves for great graphics work
Penn Valley Pony Express Printing – Bob Olsen
Carol Scofield – Our Speakers’ Bureau Consultant
…and so many more!
HOWEVER, WE ARE NOT DONE!
THE NEW CAMAPIGN SLOGAN IS: “SAVE OUR BRIDGE – GET IT DONE!”
Now that we have funding in place, we will need to make sure that the project is identified and treated as a priority for the California Department of Parks and Recreation. With a forecast “El Nino” winter ahead there is real urgency to make the necessary repairs and complete restoration work as soon as possible. The bridge, in its weakened condition, could sustain severe damage due to high river water, heavy rains and wind.
We, as a community, need to work closely with DPR to monitor the progress of the project and make sure the repairs and restoration work is completed in a timely manner.
5 Key Points to Help You Understand the Bridge Projects
- STABILIZATION: The current construction is to stabilize the bridge to protect it from further damage. This project is Phase I of the work necessary to Save Our Bridge. The expected completion date for this work is December 31, 2014. This project is fully funded in the 2014-2015 State Budget. The bridge WILL NOT be open to public access when this phase of work is complete.
- REPAIR AND RESTORATION: The next phase of work is the repair and restoration of the bridge; Phase II. This project is funded for $1.316 million and will take a number of years to complete. The bridge will remain closed until all work is completed. The Phase II project will begin this budget year (2014-2015) with preliminary design, engineering, planning and permitting work. It is expected that this part of the project will take about one year.
- The next step in the repair and restoration project (Phase II), after all of the permitting and historical guidelines are met, will be to finalize all of the architectural, engineering, and specification work.
- The next step in Phase II is to put the work out for bid to contractors who have the necessary experience and expertise to perform this type of work. Once the contractor is identified and a contract established, we will know for certain how much the project will cost.
- The final step will be the actual construction work and we do not know at this time what exactly this will entail. It is hoped that construction will be completed in the 2017-2018 budget year. The goal is to restore the bridge to as close to original condition as possible and have it safe so that our visitors can walk across this iconic piece of California history.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
We need you to stay involved and informed. Check this website frequently for updates and respond to future “Action Alerts”, as we may need to communicate our positions on issues during the restoration process with State Representatives and DPR.
Donate to the Campaign – We still need funds to run the campaign. More importantly, we are saving the bulk of donated funds to have the ability to contribute, at the end of the project, should there be any monetary shortfall to complete the restoration.
Letters of support for the Bridge:
Assembly member Brian Dahle and Senator Ted Gaines
Resolution from the Nevada County Board of Supervisors
Resolution from Nevada City, Grass Valley and Truckee
Major Press Coverage:
January 13, 2017 — The Union — Gov. Brown’s budget proposal includes Combie cleanup Bridgeport facelift
August 3, 2017 — CBS13 — Historic Nevada County Bridge Closed Since 2011 To Be Repaired
June 17, 2016 — The Union — Nevada County will Continue Lobbying Efforts for Bridgeport
April 25, 2016 — Appeal-Democrat — More funds sought for Bridgeport Covered Bridge restoration
July 28, 2014 — The Union — Officials lead from behind in Bridgeport rescue effort
April 24, 2014 — The Union — Subcommittee supports full funding to restore Bridgeport covered bridge
April 23, 2014 — Go Nevada County — State lawmakers clear way for reopening Bridgeport Bridge
April 11, 2014 — The Union — Nevada County leaders to lobby again for Bridgeport Bridge
March 24, 2014 — The Union — State funding for Bridgeport Bridge passes first budget hurdle
March 11, 2014 — Appeal-Democrat — Our View: Historic covered bridge could use your support
March 4, 2014 — The Union — Saving the Bridgeport covered bridge, one letter at a time
January 19, 2014 — Sacramento Bee — Nevada County’s Bridgeport covered bridge awaits repair
For more information about the campaign, visit: https://www.southyubariverstatepark.org/