The public is invited to attend the ground-breaking ceremony of the stabilization project for the Bridgeport Covered Bridge, located in the South Yuba River State Park on Tuesday, at the entrance of the bridge.
The Bridgeport Covered Bridge has been an important part of California’s history for more than 150 years, and is the longest single-span wood covered bridge left in the world.
The ceremony will be held in front of the bridge at noon with local officials, State Park staff and other community leaders instrumental in the effort to save the bridge.
“That work to restore and reopen our beloved bridge will commence on the day after Labor Day is an auspicious moment. Working with the dedicated members of the Save Our Bridge Committee has been a labor of love and a testament to what we can do when we unite as a community,” said Caleb Dardick, executive director of the South Yuba River Citizens League.
The $1.5 million stabilization and restoration project has two phases.
In Phase I, contractors will stabilize the bridge to help secure the structure before a more comprehensive restoration can be completed. The stabilization work is scheduled to be completed by Dec. 30.
Phase II will include the repair and restoration of the bridge so that it is sound, safe and reopened to the public.
The planning, permitting and engineering work necessary for Phase II is scheduled to begin in the 2014-2015 fiscal year.
“Thanks to the huge outpouring of community support and leadership of our elected officials at the state, county and municipal levels, this project is now moving forward and funding for both phases of construction has been achieved,” said Doug Moon, chairman of the Save Our Bridge Committee.
“The bridge is a very important part of California State parks, and we are looking forward to this restoration, so that future generations and visitors to the park can continue to enjoy this unique piece of history,” said Matt Green, Sierra District Sector Superintendent, California State Parks.
Built in 1862, the 229-foot Bridgeport Covered Bridge has been closed to the public since 2011 because of safety concerns over severe structural problems. In Fiscal Year 2012/13, the South Yuba State Park had 890,000 visitors, most coming from different parts of the world.