Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Reported by Herb Lindberg

Supported by text from Doug Moon, and Keri Brenner of The Union


On this day another landmark was reached toward returning this famous bridge to educational service as the nation's, and perhaps the world's, longest single-span covered wooden bridge.  This continuing progress is the result of intense effort by SYRPA's Save Our Bridge Committee, headed by Doug and Shirley Moon, and many people in Nevada County and elsewhere who have contributed their time and energy.


The effort included a full year of community letter writing, phone calls, lobbying and rallying to get the attention of Sacramento lawmakers. Today's groundbreaking ceremony for Phase I (stabilization) of the two-stage $1.5 M project celebrates this effort and gives sincere thanks to these people.


SRC Construction is expected to begin the stabilization process immediately, with a planned completion date of December 30. Phase 2 (restoration) will begin soon thereafter, following planning, permitting and engineering in 2014-2015.  It was not immediately clear how long the restoration phase would take, but some at the ceremony speculated it could be two years.



These participants chat as the audience settles in. Left to right: Robert Bergman, Nevada City Council: Alison Lehman, Nevada County Assistant Executive Officer; Hank Weston, County Supervisor, District 4.

Half of Audience

Half of Audience





Other Half of Audience

Other Half of Audience

I wasn't the only one photographing the proceedings.

SOB Chairman

SOB Chairman

SOB Committee Chairman Doug Moon kicks off the ceremony

From Doug's notes:

It is my distinct pleasure to welcome you to this Groundbreaking ceremony. We are here to celebrate the beginning of construction work that will ultimately SAVE OUR BRIDGE!


We will have a short program with a few words from our  State Park Representative and from our local Officials who have contributed so much to this campaign. We will then have a Photo Opportunity in front of the bridge with shovels and hard hats. As a special treat after the Photo Op we will lead small-group tours into the bridge. Finally, you are welcome to join us for some cake and drinks after the program.


First I want to recognize a group of hard-working community members dedicated to SAVING OUR BRIDGE. This is the Save Our Bridge Campaign Committee. Most are among today's speakers or in the audience today.


David Anderson – South Yuba River Park Association President

Caleb Dardick – South Yuba River Citizens League Executive Director

Robert Bergman – Nevada City Councilman

Susan George – Regional Chambers of Commerce President

Laura Brown – Bear Yuba Land Trust Outreach Coordinator

South Yuba River Park Directors Mickey Springer, Ginny Brown, Bill Stomatis, Paul Keasberry and Robert Coats

Community members Don Denton, Sandy Alves, Jean Wilson, Ron Ernst, and my beautiful wife Shirley Moon

This group has worked tirelessly over the past year to make this all happen! Let’s give them a big round of applause!

In addition to the Speakers listed in your program I would also like to recognize other Community Leaders and Elected Officials in the audience. They have all been big supporters of the Campaign to SAVE OUR BRIDGE.


Ed Scofield – Nevada County Board of Supervisors, District 2

Terry Lampier – Nevada County Board of Supervisors, District 3

Jennifer Horne – District Representative for Congressman LaMalfa

Alison Lehman – Nevada County Assistant Executive Officer

Terri Anderson – Nevada City Mayor

Jason Fouyer - Vice Mayor of the City of Grass Valley

Carol Scofield – South Nevada County Chamber of Commerce Director

Joanne Drummond - Executive Director - Fire Safe Council of Nevada County

Jerri Glover – Grass Valley Chamber of Commerce

Rem Scherzinger – General Manager – Nevada Irrigation District

Pascale Fusshoeler – YUBAnet

Keri Brenner – The Union Newspaper (For example, most of the speaker quotes here are taken from Keri's excellent article the next day about the ceremony.)

Also here today and a big part of our team, from the State Parks:


Marilyn Linkem –  Sierra District Superintendent

Dan Youngren – Supervising Ranger

Rod Tuttle – State Parks Construction Manager

Don Schmidt – Retired Supervising Ranger

Again, thank you all for joining us today.


Thanks also goes to Governor Jerry Brown, who has enthusiastically supported the project and was instrumental in getting the $1.5M released in time for bridge stabilization to be completed before heavy rains this year.

Doug Moon Continues

Doug Moon Continues

Doug Moon continues:  Next I would like to introduce someone who has been instrumental in the Committee’s success and has been our partner throughout this process. From California Department of Parks, Our first speaker is Sierra Gold Sector Superintendent - Matt Green

Doug LaMalfa

Doug LaMalfa

Avid supporter in Washington D.C. and here at home, Congressman Doug LaMalfa




Certificate of Appreciation

Certificate of Appreciation

Speeches were interrupted to present a certificate of appreciation to the SOB Committee, accepted by Chairman Doug Moon on behalf of the members.

Nevada County Board of Supervisors Chair – Nate Beason

Nate Beason

"We're on the verge of something great. It would not have happened if virtually all of the community didn't participate and we didn't have Hank Weston, who carried the water for the politicos."

District 4 Supervisor for Nevada County and our foremost advocate here and in the State Capital –Hank Weston

Hank Weston

"I think it is so wonderful to see the collaborative work for something like this get through all the slug and slop that's necessary and come through to a good end."

Nevada City Councilman and SOB Committee Member –Robert Bergman

Robert Bergman

"I think it is so wonderful to see the collaborative work for something like this get through all the slug and slop that's necessary and come through to a good end."



Legislative Director for State Assemblyman Brian Dahle – Cheri West

Cheri West

Several at the ceremony said it was Cheri who made them welcome and effective in the halls of the capitol in Sacramento. Cheri, in turn, informed us that Brian Dahle lobbied collegues who served on the pivotal legislative budget subcommittee which had the ultimate decision on funding. "Thanks for your tenacity," West told the crowd. "We were flooded with calls."

SYRCL Executive Director and our Political Guidance Counselor – Caleb Dardick

Caleb Dardick

"This is a textbook case of a community coming together and overcoming enormous odds [to get the budget allocation]. Years ago we proved that people could save a (Yuba) river, then later that people could save a (Bridgeport) park, and today, that people could save a bridge."



Last but certainly not least –the man who started it all with a meeting around his dining room table - the President of the South Yuba River Park Association – David Anderson

David Anderson

"We [Save Our Bridge members] must stay vigilant to monitor the construction process until the span is finally restored.  Our new motto, from Supervisor Hank Weston, is Save Our Bridge -- Get It Done. I look forward to the day when we can stand on the bridge, close our eyes, and feel the history, hear the horses' hooves, the rattling of the wagons and go back into the soul and history of the bridge."

A Relaxed Photo

A Relaxed Photo

A relaxed photo in the shade before donning hard hats and shovels for the groundbreaking.
Doug LaMalfa    Dave Anderson    Doug Moon    Hank Weston Nate Beason    Robert Bergman    Cheri West    Caleb Dardick    Matt Green










Ready for groundbreaking with the Bridgeport Covered Bridge behind them.

Happy Group

Happy Group

The happy group bounces their shovels off the rock-hard ground.  Stabilization will soon begin -- Hurrah!!

Four More SOB Contributers

Four More SOB Contributers

Four more Save Our Bridge contributors join in.
at left: Ed Scofield    Carol Scofield,   at right:   Susan George     Terry Lampier

Doug Moon Concludes

Doug Moon Concludes

SOB Committee Doug Moon concludes with the closing remarks below.


We have accomplished so much in almost exactly one year!  And we still have much to do! Let’s all commit to following this project through.


Stay engaged until the bridge is reopened. Make sure we are all back here for a ribbon cutting ceremony soon! Don’t let this project fail!


Our new slogan is: SAVE OUR BRIDGE – GET IT DONE!

Photo Credits: Herb Lindberg

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