It is the longest single-span wooden covered bridge remaining in the world
Constructed in 1862 by David Wood as a part of the Virginia Turnpike
Granted National Historic Designation July 14, 1971
California Registered Landmark #390, listed August 26, 1947
American Society of Civil Engineers Historic Civil Engineering Landmark #14-1970
Built to move supplies and people along the Virginia Turnpike toward the gold and silver
fields during the late 1800’s, a vital link to California’s Gold Rush and transportation history
It is the longest single-span wooden covered bridge remaining in the world.
Over the past 155 years the Bridge has suffered from aging and extreme weather conditions creating dry rot of the structural supports, twisting of the arches, and misalignment of the end supports with the possibility of total collapse of the entire Covered Bridge.
An engineering survey conducted in 2011 found structural problems so severe that the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) determined that the Bridge had to be closed to all visitor traffic.
Temporary stabilization efforts for the Bridge have been completed with a cost of $268,000 (Phase I). The State budgeted $114,500 in 2013-2014 and covered the remaining cost from a fund provided by in-kind match monies identified for hours worked by Volunteer South Yuba River Park Docents. DPR completed the stabilization effort in February 2014.
The restoration project is on schedule. In 2016, following an extensive assessment of the condition of the Bridge and the work needed to completely renovate the structure and raise the Bridge by two feet, a new cost estimate for the work now stands at $3.9 million. This is an increase of $2.6 million over the original $1.3 million in the 2014-15 State Budget.
The initial $1.3 million already allocated is more than sufficient to cover all of the engineering and architectural plans, the assessment and all permitting processes. The engineering and architectural plans are in the final stage of completion. The permitting phase has started with DPR hiring a consultant to shepherd the project through an extensive permit process.
The permit process began in February 2016. The agencies involved include Army Corps of Engineers, California Depart of Fish and Wildlife, Department of Historical Preservation, Caltrans and a CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act) and NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) processes. The project is proceeding on schedule with a projected completion date in 2019.
August 2012 engineering estimate $1.1million for immediate repairs.
DPR, working with Caltrans secured $545,000 Federal Grant which required matching funds of $43,000.
South Yuba River Park Association (SYRPA) received $10,000 Grant from California State Parks Foundation and added $20,000 for a donation of $30,000 to the State’s Donor Match Program; creating a fund of $60,000 to secure the Federal Grant.
The Governor’s Proposed 2014 Infrastructure Capital Funding Plan, which was approved by the Legislature, contained a specific line item for the repair and restoration of the Bridge identifying $318,000 for 2014-2015 and $943,000 for 2016-17.
The Legislature approved $1million from Proposition 84 funds and $318,000 from the General Fund in the 2014-15 Budget to commence work on the Renovation Project.
The Governor has allocated $3.226 million in his proposed 2017-2018 budget to complete the project. We will still need to ensure that the Legislative Committees that review the proposed budget fully fund this item.
What You Can Do:
Communicate with your State elected officials expressing your concern and requesting their efforts to ensure that this iconic Bridge project is fully funded and that the Bridge is fully restored.
Governor Brown website: https://govnews.gov.ca.gov/gov39mail/mail.php
Senator Nielsen website: http://district4.cssrc.us/
Senator Gaines website: http://district1.cssrc.us/
Assemblyman Dahle website: http://arc.asm.ca.gov/member/AD1/
Spread the Word
Make sure your friends, acquaintances, organizations and business contacts are aware of the danger of losing this irreplaceable historic Bridge.
Check the SYRPA website below for updates on the project and any help that may be needed to ensure the project is funded and completed.
Join the South Yuba River Park Association, see website at: www.southyubariverstatepark.org to lend support to the restoration effort and to assist in providing financial and interpretive material support to the Park.
TOGETHER WE CAN “SAVE OUR BRIDGE”