facebook tracking pixel Green light on for restoration phase at Bridgeport Historic Covered Bridge in Nevada County | TheUnion.com

Green light on for restoration phase at Bridgeport Historic Covered Bridge in Nevada County

Keri Brenner
Staff Writer
The Bridgeport Historic Covered Bridge stabilization is done as cables have been strung on four points on the bridge to the shore and the beam supports added on each end of the bridge in this 2015 archive photo.
John Hart/jhart@theunion.com | The Union

know & go

Who: South Yuba River Park Association

What: “Celebrate Spring” fundraiser event ($50 donation per person suggested)

Where: South Yuba River State Park

When: 4 to 7 p.m., Friday May 15

More info: Reservations are available at the park visitors center or call Jean Wilson at 530-265-8401

The majestic Bridgeport Historic Covered Bridge is covered with cables now — but that’s just a temporary step in an ambitious restoration and repair project for the 153-year-old icon.

“It is not the prettiest of structures,” Doug Moon, chair of the Save Our Bridge Campaign Committee, said of the recently completed stabilization network. “However, now the real work can begin — restoration!”

Buehler and Buehler Structural Engineers “has already begun inspections, testing and — in some cases — removal of materials for further analysis,” he said. “They are employing geotechnical, schematic design wood/timber and historical assessment experts to determine the extent of damage to the bridge and to come up with a plan for repairs.”

The preliminary assessment should be done by July, Moon said.

According to Robert Coats, president of the South Yuba River Parks Association, the committee that is leading the Save Our Bridge effort includes members of the South Yuba River Park Association, South Yuba River Citizens League, Bear Yuba Land Trust, Nevada City Council, Chambers of Commerce and other residents.

“It continues to be a truly community effort,” Coats said.

In that vein, the park association will host a “Celebrate Spring at Bridgeport” fundraiser event at the park from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, May 15. Fine food, hosted bar and live entertainment are planned. Suggested donations are $50 per person. Money raised will go toward supporting the park and making sure it stays open.

Moon, meanwhile, said he and other Save Our Bridge leaders will meet with California State Parks staff in July for a report on the assessment and costs estimate.

State Parks Sierra Gold Sector Superintendent Matt Green said the public is advised to keep away from the fenced areas on two sides and under the bridge while the project is in process.

“Please do not enter these work spaces,” Moon said. “We want the contractor to finish this vital work as quickly and safely as possible.”

Moon added that Save Our Bridge, with help from a California Parks Foundation grant, is planning to hire a grant writer to seek more financing.

“We want to be prepared in case additional funding is necessary to complete repairs,” he said.

After intense lobbying, letter-writing and rallying by scores of Nevada County groups and individuals and led by the Save Our Bridge committee, the state in 2014 approved a $1.3 million allocation to stabilize and restore the historic landmark, the longest single-span wooden covered bridge in the world. A groundbreaking ceremony to launch the project was held Sept. 2.

To contact Staff Writer Keri Brenner, email kbrenner@theunion.com or call 530-477-4239.

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