January 13, 2017 – On Tuesday, January 10, 2017, California Governor Edmond G. Brown released the proposed 2017-18 State Budget which included an allocation of $3,226,000 for the construction costs for restoration of the Bridgeport Bridge in Nevada County. Specifically, the funds are being allocated through the Department of Parks and Recreation’s State Building Program Expenditures. This achievement was due to advocacy work by the Save Our Bridge Campaign Committee (S.O.B.), the South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL) and District IV Supervisor, Hank Weston.
Back in September, Supervisor Weston, along with S.O.B. Chair, Douglas Moon, and SYRCL’s Executive Director, Caleb Dardick, met with the California Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) Director, Lisa Mangat and the State’s Department of Finance Budget Manager, Christopher Leif, to discuss the Bridgeport Bridge Restoration Project and contingencies for construction costs increases. Funding for the project was initially identified in the 5-year infrastructure plan in the 2014-15 for 1.3 million; however, project costs increased to $3.9 million after an extensive assessment was conducted on the project’s scope of work, thereby increasing overall costs by $2.6 million. At that time, DPR informed the group that various questions would need to be addressed before funding changes could be approved, but the State did confirm their commitment to the project.
S.O.B. and SYRCL members are ecstatic over the news, sending out special thanks to everyone involved including local California State Parks Sierra District Chief Ranger, Matt Green, who has worked with the group from the beginning. Supervisor Weston explained, “We could not have gained the traction and support of the Governor without the work of the S.O.B. Committee, SYRCL and the support of DPR Director Lisa Mangat. The Bridgeport Bridge is a historical treasure for our community and State and we are excited to see its preservation continued.” Douglas Moon added, “A huge thanks goes out to our community who have avidly supported this project for the last 3 years. Moving forward, our Committee will be working in close coordination with DPR to ensure that construction moves forward smoothly and as planned.” The timing is particularly welcomed at SYRCL, where they are kicking off the 15th Annual Wild & Scenic Film Festival, which raises awareness for the environment and Yuba River. “We united as a community to save the bridge, and it worked,” said Caleb Dardick, SYRCL’s Executive Director.