Push for Bridgeport Restoration Project Funding

This is a September 23, 2016 joint press release, from Nevada County, Save Our Bridge Campaign (S.O.B.) Committee and SYRCL.

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Save Our Bridge Campaign Committee Chair Douglas Moon, Nevada County Board Supervisor Hank Weston and SYRCL Executive Director Caleb Dardick.

On Thursday, September 15th, Nevada County Supervisor Hank Weston, along with S.O.B. Committee Chair, Douglas Moon, and SYRCL Executive Director, Caleb Dardick, met with the California Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) Director, Lisa Mangat, to discuss the Bridgeport Bridge Restoration Project. The team also discussed the Malakoff Diggins Solar Project and requested DPR’s support for increasing resources to Nevada County’s State Parks generally.

Currently, the Bridgeport Covered Bridge is slated to undergo extensive renovation and restoration starting in 2018/19. Funding for the project was initially identified in the 5-year infrastructure plan in the 2014-15 State Budget for State Parks for $1.3 million; however, project costs increased to $3.9 million after an extensive assessment was conducted on the project’s scope of work, thereby increasing overall costs by $2.6 million.

Supervisor Weston and delegates met with the DPR Director to reaffirm and solidify the State’s commitment to the project and inquire into the possibility of moving up funding for the project by one year. While DPR informed the group that various questions would need to be answered before funding changes could be a consideration, they did confirm their commitment to the project and its completion.

Supervisor Weston remarked, “We went into this meeting to affirm our commitment as partners and allies with the Department of Parks & Recreation and to highlight just how important the Bridgeport Bridge is to Nevada County residents and to California’s historical heritage. In response, the department was able to reassure us that this project remains a priority and extended their commitment.”

S.O.B. Chair Doug Moon added, “We came away with the definite impression that DPR is committed to requesting the additional funding required, that the project is a high priority for them and that it is anticipated to be completed on the original schedule.”

SYRCL Executive Director Caleb Dardick noted DPR’s support for moving forward with solar at Malakoff as well over the next year. “It was good to hear Director Mangat’s enthusiasm for converting the park’s energy use from fossil fuels to solar power. Given the park’s history as the epicenter of destructive hydraulic mining, there is a beauty to it becoming a green park.”

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