A coalition of horse lovers is joining the town of Woodside to build a bridge that will replace a section of a popular equestrian trail along Bear Gulch Creek that was washed out in 2017.
Based on discussions with equestrians and observations of the trail, use of the Center Trail, a vital link in the complex of horse trails in Woodside, has declined significantly since the washout, according to the staff report on the project.
"The trail was an old logging road that was cut into the hillside, and the creek caused a big slide," said Don Pugh, a member of the Woodside Trails Committee and the head of the Mounted Patrol Foundation.
The bridge will be a prefabricated structure about 50 feet long and 6 feet wide.
Seven horse riders' associations as well as several private residents have pledged a total of $115,000 toward the project; $50,000 from the town's Trails Fiduciary Fund and $35,000 from the general fund is expected to cover the remainder of the estimated $200,000 cost.
The design stage for the bridge will begin this month or in July, and construction is expected to be completed in the fall of this year or in summer 2020, the staff report said.
The horse riders' associations include the patrol foundation, the Community Horse Advocacy Program for San Mateo County, the Woodside Horse Owners Association and the Woodside Trails Club.
The project was approved unanimously by the Town Council at its May 27 meeting.