Asti bridge set to open Friday amid fire worries

  • 9/24/2012: B1:
    PC: Shelley Witten, commutes over the Washington School Road bridge in Cloverdale. Witten, who lives near the bridge, would like to see a new bridge built. The current bridge is erected and removed each fall, when residents living east of the span face a longer drive via Cloverdale.

The Asti summer crossing, a temporary bridge installed every year across the Russian River, will be in place Friday, in time for Memorial Day weekend.

Low river flow and high fire danger have expedited emplacement of the bridge, which typically doesn't occur until around July 1.

"Because of the severe drought and the anticipated severe wildland fire season we're able to advance the project," north county Supervisor Mike Mcguire said Wednesday.

He said the bridge is very important because it cuts emergency response times from the south, as well as commute times for residents on the east side of the river.

The crossing south of Cloverdale is accessed via Washington School Road. There's been a summer bridge there since 1938, according to county officials.

It typically is removed at the end of fire season in anticipation of rising waters.

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