Groundbreaking at Honey Run Covered Bridge park

The historic Honey Run Covered Bridge was destroyed during the Camp Fire, but volunteers and donors have made the reconstruction of the caretaker's cabin possible -- a big first step!

Posted: Dec 26, 2019 1:25 PM
Updated: Dec 26, 2019 8:26 PM

BUTTE CREEK CANYON, Calif. – The historic Honey Run Covered Bridge was destroyed during the Camp Fire. Ground was broken early Thursday morning on the first part of the community-supported reconstruction efforts.

Action News Now reporter Jafet Serrato was at the park in Butte Creek Canyon Thursday morning reporting on the start of construction on the bridge caretaker’s home.

REBUILDING HONEY RUN COVERED BRIDGE


• The iconic Honey Run Covered Bridge, owned by Butte County since its construction in 1887, was destroyed in the November 8, 2018 Camp Fire.

• At a January 9, 2019 meeting of 25 public and private stakeholders, a consensus emerged that the Covered Bridge should be rebuilt, with Butte County applying for FEMA funding.

• In April 2019 it became apparent that FEMA would only reimburse, meaning Butte County would need to fund construction up front. It also became apparent that Butte County does not have funds for this purpose, given its other post-Camp Fire funding demands.

• On October 22, 2019, the Butte County Board of Supervisors affirmed it is not in the interest of the County to rebuild the Covered Bridge.

• County staff are now completing details for transferring the right-of-way and ownership of the Covered Bridge to the Honey Run Covered Bridge Association (501c3 non-profit) which will raise private funds to rebuild the Bridge and then manage and maintain it. HRCBA already owns the adjacent Covered Bridge Park. When these details are completed, the Board of Supervisors is expected to vote to approve this transfer.

• Meanwhile, Quincy Engineering of Rancho Cordova has worked closely with HRCBA in developing scope of work, timeline, engineering plans, and permit applications for the rebuild. The Chair of the Chico State Construction Management Department, Chris Souder, is serving as pro bono Project Manager with university student involvement throughout. Geotechnical, hydrological and environmental testing is underway.

• Estimated total cost of the rebuild is $2.7 million. Donations of materials and labor are expected to substantially reduce this funding need.

• The first stage of construction will be the foundations and pillars, estimated to cost $582,113, with a target date June 2020 to begin construction.

• The immediate imperative for the Honey Run Covered Bridge Association is to raise $582,113.

• Donors will be appropriately recognized at the new Covered Bridge Visitors Center. Donations can be mailed by check to HRCBA at P.O. Box 5201, Chico, CA 95927, or go to hrcoveredbridge.org to donate online. HRCBA tax ID# 23-7052465.

• For details, concerns, or questions about fund-raising, construction plans, or related matters, please contact HRCBA President Robert Catalano at jakeshuman2@earthlink.net or Walt Schafer, HRCBA Vice President at ws.chico@yahoo.com.

The Honey Run Covered Bridge Association says the reconstruction of the 900 square foot home is an important first step for the rebuilding of the bridge and the park.

Chico State Construction Management chairman Chris Souder said his company and local businesses have been working for free to help rebuild the iconic bridge.

"I just thought the cause was a good cause so what I did is I stayed on board and said 'hey maybe we can be involved with the reconstruction of the bridge and the caretaker home'", said Souder.

When all is said and done, the home will be 900 square feet with a kitchen and a bathroom, a step up from the mobile home.

Robert Catalano, a member of the Honeyrun Covered Bridge Association, said he was receiving multiple calls from companies saying they wanted to help in the rebuilding.

The reconstruction funding is from donations. The materials have been donated and volunteers are working on the construction crew. Some of the donors include Serrao Construction; Payless Lumber; Bob's Concrete Pumping; Egan Electric; Slater & Son Inc.; Proframe Construction, Inc.; and Mathews Readymix.

Above is a rendering of the caretaker's home. Also, you can find some fast facts about the reconstruction of the Honey Run Covered Bridge in the sidebar article.

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