Progress has been made on the project to repair the covered bridge at Bridgeport, but it is unlikely the bridge will be open to pedestrians anytime soon.
Local rangers from the Sierra District of The California Parks Department are attempting to gather $90,000 to conduct an emergency stabilization of the bridge, said Marilyn Linkem, Sierra District director.
“We don’t want to lose the bridge,” she said.
The money could be made available through $20 million recently uncovered by the California Department of Finance in the parks department recreation fund, Linkem said.
In the meantime, Linkem continues to scramble for dollars to dedicate to the long-term project to comprehensively repair the bridge and make it safe for pedestrian travel.
The cost to do so is estimated at $1.2 million, Linkem said. The Sierra District recently received a grant of federal money distributed through Caltrans that totals $540,000, but the parks department must find matching funds before the money can be utilized.
The department has three years to locate matching funds, Linkem said.
“Obviously, we are significantly short right now,” Linkem said, adding the roof needs replacement and the bridge has continued to deteriorate over the past couple years.
The $540,000 is dedicated specifically to long-term repairs and can not be used for the emergency stabilization, so the department must look elsewhere to find the $90,000.
The bridge, originally built in 1862, is the longest single-span covered bridge in the world, according to California State Parks.
The iconic bridge is one of 10 covered bridges remaining in California.
To contact Staff Writer Matthew Renda, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 530-477-4239.