Progress towards saving the Bridgeport Covered Bridge from collapse took an important step forward as state officials recommended approval of funds needed to restore and reopen the longest single span wooden covered bridge left in the world.
Nevada County Supervisor Hank Weston and David Anderson, President of the South Yuba River Park Association (SYRPA), testified to the Senate Budget Subcommittee in Sacramento last Thursday representing the “Save Our Bridge” Committee, a broad-based coalition of bridge advocates including SYRCL.
“Our community’s advocacy to save this iconic bridge is working,” said SYRCL Executive Director Caleb Dardick. “We applaud the State Senate Budget Subcommittee’s vote to allocate one million dollars from Proposition 84 funds for the bridge project. This is a major milestone that would not have been accomplished without the hundreds of calls and letters to the legislature. Now that we have their attention, we need to make sure the Assembly Subcommittee supports the bridge too.”
“The danger of losing the Bridgeport Bridge has attracted widespread support from the Nevada County Board of Supervisors, the City Councils of Grass Valley and Nevada City, the Truckee Town Council, local chambers of commerce, and civic and non-profit organizations; as well as widespread citizen support,” stated Nevada City Councilman Robert Bergman who coordinated efforts to secure resolutions of support from the three cities.
Supervisor Weston shared the Nevada County Board of Supervisors determination to see the project fully funded as soon as possible. “As you are fully aware, 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,” Supervisor Weston testified.
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.
SYRCL and the “Save Our Bridge” Committee plan to return to the Capitol on April 23rd to testify in front of the Assembly Budget Subcommittee.
For more information about the campaign, visit: https://www.southyubariverstatepark.org/