Action Alert: Take Action Today to Save the Bridgeport Covered Bridge

Update: Our e-mail campaign has flooded the inbox’s of the four Budget Committee Chairs.  Their staff has requested that your correspondence with them be via regular mail or fax.  If you are unable to do this, SYRCL would be happy to fax this for you.

THE PROBLEM: THE BRIDGEPORT COVERED BRIDGE IS CLOSED AND IN DANGER OF COLLAPSE

An important California Gold Rush era icon is threatened and needs your help. In 2011, State Parks closed the Bridgeport Covered Bridge to pedestrian traffic after engineers found severe and unsafe structural problems. The engineers estimated it will cost over $1 million to restore this treasured State and National Landmark, which is the longest single span wooden covered bridge in the world.

THE SOLUTION: The “Save Our Bridge” Campaign Committee has been working diligently to restore and reopen the historic wood covered bridge spanning the South Yuba River at Bridgeport. The Good News is that there has been a breakthrough: Governor Brown has allocated in his proposed budget the funds needed to complete the restoration and reopen the Bridge!

HOW YOU CAN HELP NOW:  Now we need YOU to contact the State Legislators on the Budget Committees right away and let them know how important saving the Bridgeport Covered Bridge is to you and our Golden State.

Please call, mail, or fax the BUDGET COMMITTEE TODAY!

FAX your letters to:
Senate Budget Committee fax:  (916) 323-8386
Assembly Budget Committee fax:  (916) 319-2199

PHONE calls to:
Richard Bloom:  (916) 319-2050
Tom Daly:  (916) 319-2069
Jim Beall:  (916) 651-4015
Richard Roth:  (916) 651-4031

SAMPLE LETTER:

March, 2014

The Honorable Jim Beall

Chairman, Senate Budget Sub 2

Resources, Environmental Protection, Energy and Transportation

State Capitol, Room 2068

Sacramento, CA 95814

The Honorable Richard Roth

Chairman, Senate Budget Sub 4

State Administration and General Government

State Capitol, Room 4034

Sacramento, CA 95814

The Honorable Richard Bloom

Chairman, Assembly Budget Sub 3

Resources and Transportation

State Capitol, Room 2179

Sacramento, CA 95814

The Honorable Tom Daly

Chairman, Assembly Budget Sub 4

State Administration

State Capitol, Room 4166

Sacramento, CA 95814

RE:       Support for funding for the Bridgeport Covered Bridge Restoration Project in the 2014-15 Budget

Dear Budget Committee Chairpersons,

An important California Gold Rush era icon is threatened and needs your help. Our community has worked tirelessly to raise awareness and funding needed to restore and reopen the historic Bridgeport Covered Bridge at the South Yuba River State Park. In 2011 the Department of Parks and Recreation closed the bridge to pedestrian traffic after an engineering survey found severe and unsafe structural problems. Engineers estimate it will cost over $1 million to restore this State Park landmark, which is the longest single span wooden covered bridge in the world.

I am writing you today to request your support for the complete Bridgeport Covered Bridge Restoration Project.  As articulated in the Governor’s January Budget proposal, the 5 Year infrastructure plan includes $1.261 million ($318,000 in 2014-15 and $943,000 in 2016-17) to complete the Bridgeport Bridge Restoration Project. This is the full amount that the California Department of Parks and Recreation has estimated for the project.

Phase 1 of the project is funded and is shovel-ready, scheduled to take place in 2014.  Phase 2 still needs a technical and design plan prepared and it will be shovel-ready well in time for the 2015-2016 Budget and as such, we seek to accelerate the scheduled funding for this project.

While we are grateful for the Governor’s commitment to this project in his Budget, we would prefer to see the $943,000 that is currently budgeted for 2016-17 be programmed for 2015-16, as this project is urgently needed so the Park can resume contributing substantial funds to the region’s economy. Tourism is vital to the Nevada County area, and we can’t afford to wait any longer while this project languishes.  Should the State emerge from the drought with any significant rainfall, the river that this bridge crosses could rise and damage or even wash away this venerable and historic structure.  Time is of the essence in this particular case.

We would ask you support this budget proposal with respect to Phase 1 and request that the Committee move the $943,000 already intended for expenditure in 2016-2017 to 2015-16.

The fate of Bridgeport, a symbol of California’s historic legacy, and a significant engineering accomplishment to the world, is now in your hands. According to DPR, this park attracts up to 890,000 visitors supporting the local economy. We have unanimous support from our local elected officials. The City Councils of Grass Valley, Nevada City and Truckee along with Nevada County Supervisors have all written resolutions in favor of the bridge restoration project urging lawmakers to support this critical work.

Thank you for your consideration of this request.

Sincerely,

[Your Name and address]

(Note: Please feel free to modify this letter in your own words. Share your love for the Bridgeport Covered Bridge. Most important: Ask them to support funding for the Bridgeport Covered Bridge Restoration Project in the 2014-15 Budget.)

TALKING POINTS FOR CALLS:

  • Support complete funding for the Bridgeport Covered Bridge Restoration Project.
  • Time is of the essence in this particular case: the Covered Bridge has been closed since 2011 and is at risk of collapse. It’s a state and national landmark that must be saved.
  • In the Governor’s January Budget proposal , the 5 Year infrastructure plan includes $1.2 million ($318,000 in 2014-15 and $943,000 in 2016-17) to complete the Bridgeport Bridge Restoration Project.
  • Support this budget proposal with respect to Phase 1, which is “shovel ready” now, and request that the Committee move the $943,000 already intended for expenditure in 2016-2017 to 2015-16.
  • The South Yuba River State Park attracts up to 890,000 annual visitors many of whom come to see the Bridgeport Covered Bridge.
  • We have unanimous support from our local elected officials including the City Councils of Grass Valley, Nevada City and Truckee along with Nevada County Supervisors, who have all written resolutions in favor of the bridge restoration project.

The “Save Our Bridge” Campaign Committee would like to thank the following organizations for their support:

South Yuba River Park Association                    South Yuba River Citizens League
California State Park Foundation                        Nevada County Historical Society
Penn Valley Area Chamber of Commerce         Grass Valley Chamber of Commerce
Nevada City Chamber of Commerce                 Economic Resource Council
Nevada County Board of Supervisors                Nevada City Council
Grass Valley City Council                                   Truckee Town Council
Bear Yuba Land Trust                                         Grass Valley Downtown Association
Penn Valley Rodeo Association                          Sierra Cinemas Theaters

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

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SYRCL relies on the generosity of our community to be poised to take action — like keeping the needs of the Yuba at the forefront when issues like this arise.  Please become a dues-paying member or renew your support—and allow us to continue this good work; donations of all amounts are greatly appreciated and truly make a difference.

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