Save Our Bridge Campaign

Bridgeport Restoration Project

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

Image: Robert Lowe

Updates: 

January 21, 2020 — Save Our Bridge Campaign Committee — Bridgeport Bridge Restoration Project Delayed

November 14, 2019 — The UnionDouglas Moon: Saving the Bridgeport bridge but not done yet

June 12, 2019 — Historic Covered Bridge Restoration Has Begun

January 7, 2019 — Historic Bridgeport Covered Bridge Restoration Project Is A Go!…Work To Begin!

July 6, 2018 — Bridgeport Historic Covered Bridge Renovation Project Saved!

April 9, 2018 — Wonderful News for the Historic Bridgeport Bridge Renovation Project!

January 19, 2018 — Historic Covered Bridge Renovation and Malakoff Solar Projects Move Forward

July 28, 2017 — Governor Signs Budget to Fund Full Restoration of Historic Wood Covered Bridge at Bridgeport

February 2, 2017 — Bridgeport Historic Covered Bridge Fact Sheet

January 13, 2017 — Governor’s Proposed Budget allocates $3,226,000 to the Bridgeport Bridge Restoration Project for 2017-18

September 23, 2016 — Supervisor Weston, Save Our Bridge Campaign Committee and SYRCL meet with CA Department of Parks & Recreation Director on Bridgeport Bridge Restoration Project

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

Image: Robert Lowe

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
Sierra Theatres
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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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 — CBS13Historic Nevada County Bridge Closed Since 2011 To Be Repaired

August 2, 2017 — KCRAThis historic Northern California bridge is getting a $4 million+ restoration

June 27, 2017 —  Sacramento Bee — State budget includes money to restore Bridgeport Covered Bridge

September 23, 2016 — YubaNet — Supervisor Weston, Save Our Bridge Campaign Committee, and SYRCL meet with CA Department of Parks & Recreation Director on Bridgeport Bridge Restoration Project

June 17, 2016 — The Union — Nevada County will Continue Lobbying Efforts for Bridgeport

June 1, 2016 — The Union — Malakoff Diggins solar project advances; officials keep working on Bridgeport Covered Bridge

April 25, 2016 — Appeal-Democrat — More funds sought for Bridgeport Covered Bridge restoration

September 4, 2014 — The Union — Breaking ground on Bridgeport bridge restoration

August 18, 2014Jeff Pelline’s Sierra Foothills Report — Progress: Bridgeport Covered Bridge stabilization begins on September 2

August 4, 2014 — The Union — Elected officials helped save Bridgeport

July 28, 2014 — The Union — Officials lead from behind in Bridgeport rescue effort

June 27, 2014 —  Sacramento Bee —  State budget includes money to restore Bridgeport Covered Bridge

June 20, 2014 — YubaNet — Save Our Bridge: Governor Brown Approves Full Funding for Bridgeport Covered Bridge

June 20, 2014 — The Union — Funding OK’d to restore Bridgeport Covered Bridge

June 20, 2014 — Sierra Food Wine Art Governor Brown approves full funding for Bridgeport Covered Bridge

April 24, 2014 — The Union — Subcommittee supports full funding to restore Bridgeport covered bridge

April 23, 2014 — The Union —Subcommittee supports full funding to restore Bridgeport covered bridge

April 23, 2014 — YubaNet — Assembly Budget Subcommittee supports full funding to Restore Bridgeport Covered Bridge

April 23, 2014 Jeff Pelline’s Sierra Foothills Report — State lawmakers agree to fund Bridgeport Bridge renovation and reopening

April 23, 2014 Go Nevada County — State lawmakers clear way for reopening Bridgeport Bridge

April 23, 2014 — Grass Valley Chamber of Commerce Enewsletter — Bridgeport action, State of the Yuba and River Ambassadors

April 12, 2014 — YubaNet — Update on Bridgeport Bridge Funding

April 11, 2014 — The Union — Nevada County leaders to lobby again for Bridgeport Bridge

April 5, 2014 — Sierra Food Wine Art Local “Save Our Bridge” committee launches letter campaign to save Bridgeport

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 5, 2014 — The Union — Help save the Bridgeport bridge, now!

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

August 15, 2013 — The Union —Bridgeport bridge may be saved from failing

For more information about the campaign, visit: https://www.southyubariverstatepark.org/