Bid process starts today for Bridgeport Covered Bridge project | TheUnion.com

Bid process starts today for Bridgeport Covered Bridge project

Any misstep, or just random chance, in the process to rehabilitate the Bridgeport Covered Bridge could have scuttled the project.

Instead, after years of fighting for the historic structure's repair and clearing all possible hurdles, the project will be put out to bid today.

"This was a massive undertaking," Nevada County Supervisor Hank Weston said at Tuesday's regular meeting of his board. "But it finally came through."

Weston said the rehabilitation would begin this fall. Officials estimate the bridge will reopen around May 2019.

Closed in 2011 to foot traffic, the 155-year-old bridge in the South Yuba State Park needs new interior support structures. Current structures are failing. It also must be raised 18 inches because of higher river levels.

The reconstruction of the bridge — which officials have called the longest single-span, wood-covered bridge in the world — will keep the structure's historic appearance. Weston said he wants the bridge to be an economic draw for the county.

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"It's just fabulous for this community," he said.

Over $4 million in state funding will pay for the repairs.

Contractors will have three weeks from today to bid on the project, said Barbara Bashall, executive director of the Nevada County Contractors' Association.

Bashall doubts the main contractor will be local. The project, because of its historic status and scope, requires a company with specific experience.

However, Bashall said locals could secure bids as subcontractors.

"We work really hard to find contractors that are qualified," she said.

Companies interested in bidding on the project will attend an April 20 pre-bid walkthrough. Additionally, they'll submit their qualifications for working on historic structures and bridges.

To contact Staff Writer Alan Riquelmy, email ariquelmy@theunion.com or call 530-477-4239.

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