September 23, 2016 – On Thursday, September 15th, Nevada County Supervisor Hank Weston, along with Save Our Bridge Campaign (S.O.B.) Committee Chair, Douglas Moon, and South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL) Executive Director, Caleb Dardick, met with the California Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) Director, Lisa Mangat, to discuss the Bridgeport Bridge Restoration Project.
Currently, the Bridgeport Bridge is slated to undergo extensive renovation and restoration starting in 2018/19. Funding for the project was initially identified in the 5-year infrastructure plan in the 2014-15 State Budget for State Parks 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.
Supervisor Weston and delegates met with the DPR Director to reaffirm and solidify the State’s commitment to the project and inquire into the possibility of moving up funding for the project by one year. While DPR informed the group that various questions would need to be answered before funding changes could be a consideration, they did confirm their commitment to the project and its completion. As Supervisor Weston remarked, “We went into this meeting to affirm our commitment as partners and allies with the Department of Parks & Recreation and to highlight just how important the Bridgeport Bridge is to Nevada County residents and to California’s historical heritage. In response, the department was able to reassure us that this project remains a priority and extended their commitment.”
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S.O.B. Chair Doug Moon added, “We came away with the definite impression that DPR is committed to requesting the additional funding required, that the project is a high priority for them and that it is anticipated to be completed on the original schedule.” The team was also able to discuss the Malakoff Diggins Solar Project and their support for increasing resources to Nevada County State parks.
SYRCL Executive Director Caleb Dardick noted, “The success of this meeting was walking away knowing that DPR is committed to the project, its scope of work and schedule and funding allocation.”
Following the meeting with DPR, the delegation had the opportunity to meet with the State’s Department of Finance Budget Manager, Christor Leif. They were able to discuss the project’s budget in more detail, the issues around additional budget requests and contingencies for construction costs increases. Moving forward, the team will meet back with the S.O.B. Campaign Committee to discuss their next steps on how best to partner with DPR to further the work being done in Nevada County State Parks.