February 18, 2020 – Edwards Crossing bridge carries traffic on North Bloomfield Road over the South Yuba River. Originally constructed in 1904 and last rehabilitated in 1989, the bridge is one lane and load restricted, affecting emergency response and accessibility at the bridge. The foundations have been partially eroded from river flows, the metal railing and timber decking have aged, and the lack of certain design elements could expose it to future failure. The State’s most recent 2019 bridge inspection rated the bridge as structurally deficient, requiring a replacement bridge.

The County proposes to construct a new two-lane bridge at one of two upstream locations, either 60 feet or 1,000 feet upstream. The existing bridge would remain in place for pedestrian use and historic preservation. Both alternatives would provide access to emergency vehicles and serve as an evacuation route during emergencies.

Each year first responders receive many service calls for river rescues and more minor safety incidents at Edwards Crossing. With minimal cell service in the area, the high number of visitors, and the susceptibility of the canyon to wildfire, the project will help to improve access for first responders. It will also serve to improve evacuation routes for communities living on both sides of the canyon.

The County will be preparing an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) to evaluate the physical impacts of the proposed project options and has released a Notice of Preparation (NOP) for the EIR. The public comment period for the NOP is open through March 13, 2020.

Two public scoping meetings will also be held to gather feedback on the preparation of the EIR:

• Wed, February 26, 6:00 -7:30 pm
Nevada County Board of Supervisors Chambers
950 Maidu Avenue, Nevada City, CA 95959
• Thurs, February 27, 6:00 – 7:30 pm
North Columbia Schoolhouse
17894 Tyler Foote Road, Nevada City, CA 95959

The public is encouraged to attend the meetings to learn more and provide input on the EIR. More details about the project and how to comment on the NOP can be accessed on the project webpage at http://dokkenbridges.com/nevada-county/edwards-crossing.html.