Status Report, December 12, 2008

Woodwardia Bridge Status

The County directed the Association to replace Woodwardia Bridge in late August of this year . The Association then looked at alternatives to satisfy the County and to minimize the cost to the Association and the community. A hearing was held on December 12  where we discussed the Association’s following proposal:

Proposed Near Term Solution:

Continued use the bridge with reduced limits and an inspection program for up to 5 years. Provide a gated driveway type access improvement at Mount Hermon/Lilac Lane for emergency  and/or heavy vehicles only

Proposed Long Term Solution:

Option A: Close bridge to vehicles (pedestrian and bicycle use only).

Provide access for all vehicles at Mount Hermon Road/Lilac

Lane —right turns in and out only.

Option B: Close bridge to vehicles (pedestrian and bicycle use only).

Provide access at Mount Hermon Road/Lilac Lane —right turns

in and out, left turn in.

Option C: Replace bridge with new steel bridge to current standards.

Retain emergency gated access at Mount Hermon Road/Lilac

Lane with driveway improvements.

The Association also presented arguments that the installation of a barrier gate for the present bridge is unnecessary and not wanted by the community.

The County stipulated that they would accept a 5 year period for continued operation with the reduced limits of 5 tons and 5 mph.  and they would accept the proposed inspection program.   The County further stipulated that the barrier gate is not required if the Association adds another sign that lists the trucks to be excluded and installs speed bumps at each end of the bridge.  The County would not accept options A or B as the permanent solution but agreed to continue the hearing until early March while we assess our position.
At this point the County still wants the Association to close Woodwardia Bridge no later than January 1, 2014 and then complete construction of a new bridge with an estimated cost of about $600,000 to $700,000 (present day costs).  This cost would be shared by the Mount Hermon Association and the homeowners.  The Association will be assessing their ability to successfully appeal the County’s position.
The Association has received the permit to improve the Mount Hermon Road/Lilac Lane access and make it a proper legal access point for emergency and heavy vehicles.  It will still have a gate to be opened for these vehicles only.  In addition to this improvement a more elaborate enhancement of this access point will also be implemented early next year to be used by all in case of an earthquake requires closure of the bridge or during construction of a new bridge.

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