Tonight: Woodside council considers fate of three Woodside bridges

Woodside is home to three two-lane, single-span, century-old bridges -- on Kings Mountain Road, Portola Road and Mountain Home Road -- and all are weakened and in need of significant repair, maybe even replacement.

The choices before the Town Council when it meets at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 11, could involve millions of dollars and have the potential to affect Woodside's rural character.

The California Department of Transportation considers all three bridges to be "structurally deficient" and "functionally obsolete," a consulting engineer told the council in November 2012.

Today's vehicles are heavier, larger and more powerful than they were 100 years ago, and traffic volume is heavier. As its first item of business on Tuesday, the council will consider two paths forward:

■ At a cost of about $159,000, the town could complete a forensic analysis of the bridges to determine whether repair and maintenance can extend their useful lives. The companion equestrian bridges on Kings Mountain and Mountain Home would be included in this analysis.

■ The town could accept federal funds, which would pay up to 90 percent of the cost of the work. But because federal funds bring with them federal safety standards, town staff would try to avoid new 40-foot-wide bridges that also accommodate equestrian and pedestrians and present a more modern appearance than is typical in Woodside. This scenario would likely include separate pedestrian and equestrian bridges.

Since all three bridges are on roads designated as scenic, any significant changes require consideration of aesthetic and cultural factors. The bridges on Kings Mountain and Mountain Home roads are also eligible for designation as having historic significance, according to Caltrans.

The Town Council meets at 7:30 p.m. in Independence Hall at 2955 Woodside Road.


Like this comment
Posted by Generation X
a resident of Woodside: Mountain Home Road
on Mar 10, 2014 at 6:40 pm

A $159,000 study to determine if the bridges are safe for "vehicle that are heavier, larger and more powerful"?

Replacement bridges twice as wide as current bridges and .."and could involve millions of dollars with the potential to affect the rural character of Woodside?"

Aren't these bridges safe for existing local traffic patterns?

Why not limit vehicle load exposure?

Don't buy into overstaffed bureaucrats looking to justify their jobs.

Like this comment
Posted by Donald
a resident of another community
on Mar 11, 2014 at 8:56 am

Hmmm, let's see now, on one hand we have federal money that will bring the bridges into compliance with modern safety standards, and on the other hand we have the vanishing delusion of Woodside's "rural character". That seems like an easy choice to me.

Like this comment
Posted by John Ullom
a resident of another community
on Mar 11, 2014 at 9:49 pm

There is a bridge in Half Moon Bay similar to the those mentioned in this story. The City Council has spent 500 grand on nobody knows what yet has not done a forensic analysis.

While the Mayor and other Council Members have feigned concern for the safety of the bridge, they have done nothing to mitigate the safety issues that they have ginned up.

The citizens of Woodside are fortunate to have a City Council that is considering finding out what they are working with prior to spending all the OPM they can get ahold of.

See just how luck you folks are in Woodside: -- Web Link

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