Residents see troubled waters for Butte City Bridge project

Feb 15, 2016 5:52 PM by News Staff

The California Department of Transportation is reporting the bridge over the Sacramento River at Butte City needs to be replaced.

The green, steel bridge has been in place for 70 years and people who use it worry about how they'll be impacted while it's out of commission.

Just off Highway 162 outside of Butte City, the bridge is a vital connection to services in Glenn County for residents of butte city and other nearby communities

Now they're worried about facing a lengthy detour, or worse… being isolated completely.

Jeff Click, Butte City Resident, said isolation is a big concern for residents.

“A lot of the people I talk to are concerned about being cutoff as far as the construction,” he said.

Those are the sentiments of many residents in the area about a proposed plan to replace the current green steel bridge connecting Butte City, on the eastern side of the river, to Glenn County on the western side.

On Tuesday night, representatives from CalTrans will be meeting with residents from Butte City and Princeton to talk about the project.

Agency officials, the bridge will need to be replaced to comply with seismic standards.

Steve Nelson, CalTrans spokesperson, said officials fear an earthquake could cause irreparable damage to the structure.

“This bridge in particular being built in 1947 is one of the older bridges that CalTrans seismic standards have changed in the last 60 or 70 years since it has been built,” he said.

Residents are concerned a lack of other options to cross the river. Currently, the planned detour will either take residents north to Ord Bend or south to Colusa, adding approximately 30 miles to the trip.

This detour affects everything from agriculture to the morning commute of 35 students.

"It's going to cut us off from services from willows, ambulance, sheriff that kind of stuff," Click said.

Cody Walker, Princeton high school principal, said the length of time added to the commute for his students that ride the bus will make getting to school on time difficult.

“The total bus route will go up an hour in the morning and an hour in the afternoon,” he said. “Annually that will be about $40,000 more in transportation costs.”

Construction is scheduled to start in 4 years but CalTrans representatives want to hear from residents now as they try to draft a plan that will benefit everyone involved.

We're not going to go out there and waste everybody's time and walk away and say no we're doing it our way,” said Nelson. “Communities have had absolute impact on how the project is built, different aspects of the project, design aspects of the project, all that is taken into consideration.”

The meeting was originally scheduled to take place in the Princeton high school cafeteria but was changed to the gym to accommodate a larger number of resident. The meeting will take place at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday evening


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