Rehabilitation of the Bridge at South Yuba River SP
Bridgeport Covered Bridge Restoration and Rehabilitation Project
May 30, 2019: South Parking Lot at South Yuba River State Park to Close Temporarily for Bridgeport Covered Bridge Renovation on Wednesday, June 12, 2019
Starting Wednesday, June 12, California State Parks will temporarily close the south parking lot to day-use parking at South Yuba River State Park while the historic Bridgeport Covered Bridge is renovated. Originally built in 1862, the bridge was closed to public access after a timber survey in September 2011 revealed significant structural damage. Thanks to the support of the Nevada County community, the Save our Bridge Campaign Committee, and the Legislature, the $6.9 million restoration project, funded with a combination of state and federal funds, is now underway to make the bridge safe again for pedestrian access. Construction is expected to be completed by April 2020.
Click on map above to enlarge.
The south parking lot will be closed during the renovation but the north lot will remain open. Those heading into the river must use the portage areas at Family Beach and Kneebone Beach for their safety. Signs will be posted to direct visitors.
Here’s what you need to know if you’re planning to visit this popular park:
Parking in the South Lot
- Will be closed due to construction.
Visitor Center and Restrooms
- The visitor center will be open to the public during the renovation, seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- The restrooms near the visitor center will also be open during the renovation. Normal park day-use hours will be unaffected.
Access to Kneebone Beach and Family Beach
- During the renovation, construction crews will be working on and under the bridge. For the public’s safety, there will be two portage areas (access points to enter and exit the water) for park aquatic users located at Kneebone Beach and Family Beach.
- Visitors are being asked to use these portage areas instead of traveling down the river and under the potentially hazardous construction area.
- For the park visitor’s safety, the area around the bridge will be fenced off and closed. Any park visitor in violation of this will be subject to a citation.
- The north parking lot will still be open for visitors.
- Due to the south lot closure, State Parks is encouraging visitors to carpool, rideshare or use the shuttle bus, when available, due to the limited amount of parking available. Thank you for your patience and understanding during the renovation.
- As always, please recreate safely and protect you and your loved ones. Always wear a properly fitted life jacket, even if you’re a strong swimmer. The rivers are running dangerously cold and fast due to the large amounts of snow and rain received this year. Be sure to actively supervise children at all times. For more safety tips, click here.
The reconstruction project on the Bridgeport Covered Bridge is moving forward. A construction contract was awarded to Spectra Company in the fall of 2018. The total project cost is $6.9 million. Spectra Company will begin mobilizing materials and equipment this spring in preparation of starting construction in late spring or early summer, once water levels are safe. Construction is expected to be completed by the end of 2019.
We will continue to update you on the construction process as information becomes available.
We thank the Nevada County community, the Save our Bridge Campaign Committee and everyone who has supported us to restore this historic bridge so that many future generations can experience this one-of-a-kind site.
The Bridgeport Covered Bridge was originally built in 1862. Located in South Yuba River State Park, the bridge spans 226 feet and is 16 feet wide. The Bridgeport Covered Bridge is the only remaining single-span Howe Truss-Burr Arch covered timber bridge of this size in the nation and is listed on the National Register of Historic Structures. It is a major attraction used by 150,000 visitors each year as a pedestrian bridge across the South Yuba River in Nevada County, California.
The bridge was closed to public access after a timber survey in September 2011 revealed significant structural damage. The park desires to use the structure for pedestrian access and horse drawn wagons. The project seeks to restore and rehabilitate the existing structure. All repairs will be reviewed and approved by a California State Parks Historian to maintain conformance to the Department of the Interior Standards for Historical Preservation strategies.
The restoration and rehabilitation project includes:
- Installation of temporary shoring
- Replacing fracture-critical elements (cast iron tension elements)
- Replacing decayed wood sections in wood trusses
- Replacing fracture-critical bolts
- Rebuilding top chord and roof
- Rehabilitation of existing abutments
- Repair items discovered during course of construction