New Bridge Now Open at Mission Springs Center

Post a Comment » Written on January 14th, 2009     
Filed under: News
SANTA CRUZ, CA (January 14, 2009) – The new bridge at Mission Springs Christian Camps & Conference Center is strong enough to allow 18 vehicles to park on the structure for 30 days, says Bill Walton, director of development and marketing.

Not that the camp intends to use it for parking.

BridgeTraffic has been flowing two ways on the new steel and concrete bridge since December – 19 months after local officials forced the closure of the old structure that was deemed unsafe. For a previous story, click here.

Visitors and leaseholders were forced to use a narrow, circuitous emergency access road for 42 days until the camp could make repairs to the old bridge in order to temporarily open one lane.

Eleven redwood trees were felled to make room for the new bridge, but the camp worked to minimize the environmental impact of the structure. “Being sensitive not to waste any resources, Mission Springs immediately looked around the camp for ways in which the redwood trees could be milled and the lumber reused in projects,” Walton says.

TreesThe trees were milled and the wood was used to construct fences, benches, enclosures, and facades, as well as other projects, Walton says.

The county has granted Mission Springs an 18-month use extension on the original bridge, allowing the camp to keep it open as a single-lane bridge until June 2010, Walton says. The camp ultimately plans to replace the wooden structure.

“The current plan is to replace it with a steel and concrete structure similar to the new bridge,” Walton says. “The original entrance will continue to be an important access point for Mission Springs in the future.”

The camp has been able to fund construction of the $1.2 million bridge and other projects thanks to a ongoing capital campaign that received a huge boost from an anonymous donor. Last June, the donor made a $500,000 matching gift to Mission Springs, whereby each donation made by December 31, 2008, would be matched dollar for dollar. The camp met the year-end goal and was able to raise $1 million for the bridge and other infrastructure projects.

To view a photographic history of the new bridge’s construction, click here.

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