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Healdsburg bridge options on display

  • 11/24/2009:A1: IMPROVING ITS SCORE: On a scale of 1 to 100, with 1 being the worst, a Caltrans assessment in 1979 led to the Healdsburg Avenue Bridge receiving a sufficiency rating of 2. But recent emergency reinforcements improved the bridge's rating to 46. Still, the City of Healdsburg began advertising for consultants to conduct a review on whether to replace the bridge.

    PC: The soundness of the Healdsburg bridge is not as bad off as Caltrans first thought. Instead of a 2 rating-with one being the worst- the bridge is now given a score of 47. That being said, officials are still spending over $1 million to investigate replacing or retrofitting the nearly 90 year-old span. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2009

More than a half-dozen alternatives, including fixing, replacing, or even relocating the Healdsburg Memorial Bridge will be unveiled Thursday at a workshop to help determine the future of the vintage span.

The open house at the Healdsburg Senior Center is the second to help determine the fate of the 89-year-old bridge over the Russian River.

"There will be seven or eight alternatives presented," said City Manager Marjie Pettus.

Those include leaving the bridge as it is, or leaving it as is but eliminating vehicular traffic.

Other options are to rehabilitate the bridge, replace it with a similar structure, or replace it with a more functional, but less aesthetically-pleasing concrete span.

Additional scenarios include moving it up or down the river.

"Some people might say that's ridiculous," Pettus said, but he noted that consultants want to get reactions to a wide range of possibilities.

What to do with the 1921 bridge has been a periodic subject of discussion for years in Healdsburg.

A 1979 Caltrans report gave the bridge the poorest rating of any in the county. But that was revised two years ago after it was discovered the agency made a calculation error involving the location of the pins on the truss connections.

Caltrans then decided the bridge can bear all legal loads, including up to four 36-ton, semi-truck trailers at once. But the bridge does not meet current width or height requirements.

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