Mission Springs Bridge to Cost Nearly $1 Million

Post a Comment » Written on April 26th, 2007     
Filed under: News
SCOTTS VALLEY, CA (April 26, 2007) – Mission Springs Christian Camps and Conference Center will need to spend nearly $1 million to eventually replace a bridge that provides the only access to the facility and provide supporting services until then, Executive Director Bryan Hayes estimates.

Santa Cruz County officials condemned the bridge and ordered it closed March 23. The closing came a day after the company Mission Springs had hired to repair and rehabilitate the structure discovered additional problems, Hayes says.

CampThe same day, construction crews began work on a temporary one-lane paved road to provide access, at the camp’s direction. Temporary metered traffic lights have been installed at each end of the road, which begins at Mission Springs’ Wild Oak Camp and ends at Frontier Ranch. Cost for the construction was $111,248, Hayes says.

The camp will continue to use that road until one lane of the current bridge can be made passable. When that work is done, a new bridge will be constructed.

Mission Springs initially contracted with Granite Construction for $150,000 to repair the current bridge after a routine inspection last fall revealed that the structure no longer met code, Hayes says. That work began February 22 and was expected to take 28 days.

However, all conference guests, as well as camp staff and residents, were given three hours to vacate the property on March 23, Hayes says. The Scotts Valley Fire District ordered the action because they could not get a truck across the bridge, if needed. Residents and staff were able to return three days later when the access road was paved.

Due to the sudden nature of the decision to close the bridge, Mission Springs was forced to cancel its annual Men’s Conference and three adult retreats scheduled for the first week of the closure because completion of the temporary access road could not be completed in time.  The loss of revenue is estimated at $37,355.

Mission Springs will be able to host the rest of the upcoming camps, Hayes says, though having groups on campus will be costly for at least the next month. Because fire trucks cannot get across the bridge or use the temporary access road, a three-person fire crew will need to be onsite around the clock every day that groups are on campus.

Having the firefighters stationed onsite will cost $3,579 a day, and groups are scheduled everyday, Hayes says. The camp expects to pay $238,039 through May 31 for the service.

Hayes says paying the money still is less costly than canceling the camps. Fire District officials have indicated the crew may not need to stay on the grounds once a lane is opened on the current bridge.

The proposed new bridge would cost at least $400,000, Hayes says. The two-lane structure would be located about 1,000 feet upstream from the current site (accompanying map), and would be 80 feet long and 20 feet wide.

Under normal circumstances, the camp would have to wait several months for a hearing with county officials on meeting environmental and other regulations for the proposed bridge, Hayes says. He hopes the hearings will be expedited under an emergency provision. County Supervisor Mark Stone already has asked agencies to move as quickly as possible, Hayes adds.

The camp has had enough reserves to pay $350,000 so far for the ongoing work, but does not have funds to complete future construction, Hayes says. Several churches, including the Bayside Covenant Church congregations, have pledged to donate funds. All conference churches also are being asked to take a special “second offering” during one of the first two Sundays in June, with gifts donated for the Mission Springs project.

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