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New bridge going up in Blairsden-Graeagle area

The 116-year-old Blairsden-Graeagle Road Bridge — popularly known as the Denten Bridge — is destined to become a foot and bicycle bridge, following approval of a new two-lane bridge by the Plumas County Board of Supervisors.

Supervisor and chair of the board Jeff Engel said he didn’t want to see the historic bridge go away. He said the old single-lane bridge is perfect for foot traffic and bicyclists.

The picturesque, green bridge that spans the Middle Fork of the Feather River on County Road 521 south of Blairsden has seen better days.

The existing nine-span, 264-foot bridge was built in 1902 and renovated in 1965 following the 1955 flood.

In a Caltrans report, the current bridge is rated at 48.9 below the 50 rating and is eligible for replacement under the federal Highway Bridge Program, explained Department of Public Works Director Bob Perreault.

“In-depth steel inspections have noted cracks in portions of the top lateral bracing and bends in portions of the sway bracings,” Perreault explained.

And there are other safety issues with the structure, he explained.

Working in coordination with Caltrans District 2, the purpose of the new bridge is to improve public safety, as well as to provide a two-lane bridge. “The existing bridge will either be retained and rehabilitated to support pedestrian and bicycle use or demolished and removed following construction of the new bridge,” Perreault said.

The replacement cost is not to exceed $438,271.38.

Work was expected to begin Monday, Nov. 19, Deputy Director Joe Blackwell told supervisors.

Public works sent the project out for bids and received three, “Quincy Engineering, Inc. being ranked as the most highly qualified firm,” Perreault reported.

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