Big Bear Dam Bridge Delay?

caltrans big bear damSo, GG is currently getting press releases from a few sources–which is amusing to me.

Most get tossed since they are not relevant to Fawnskin but Sara Russ of the Big Bear Chamber sent me something you needed to see.

Caltrans held a press conference yesterday and released a White Paper that highlights how the budget delay will impact transportation projects statewide.

Funding for transportation projects worth over $2.1 billion are contingent on the approval of the state budget and may either be deferred or delayed–so the Big Bear dam bridge completion may be impacted.

In our district (District 8 ) the $33 Million dollar Big Bear Bridge is currently 50% complete with progress that has been very fast and quicker than expected.

Their notes indicate that it is “very visible, political, and there is a need to avoid delays into winter shutdown.”

I did not get the release in time to call in to listen but the Big Bear Chamber sent this response:

Caltrans announced yesterday that due to the state budget crisis they could be forced to delay over $3 billion in transportation projects across the state, including the Big Bear Bridge. Though previously guaranteed that the funds were set aside and untouchable by the state legislature and its crumbling budget, the announcement by Caltrans contradicts prior commitments.

This comes just weeks after the announcement that the Big Bear Bridge contractor, Flat Iron Construction, was on target to finish the Bridge almost a year early, saving the state millions of dollars. However, if this delay is realized, it will add millions to the overall cost of the project, in addition to creating a potentially dangerous situation since the current bridge across the historic Big Bear dam has been condemned for many years. Caltrans has confirmed that the current bridge has “out-lived” its lifespan and could easily collapse or have irreparable damage if a high magnitude earthquake should hit Big Bear.

On behalf of the Big Bear business community, we are frustrated that our current legislature is unable to solve the state’s budget crisis which has caused this unfortunate and potentially dangerous situation. Halting this project would cause the state to not only spend additional and unnecessary funds, but would also put potential lives at risk.

We would like to assure our business community that the Chamber is expending time and resources to fight this possible delay and will keep them informed of the situation.

“We applaud the efforts of Caltrans to complete the bridge ahead of schedule, saving the state millions of dollars, and we will do all that we can to support them in completing this critical project for Big Bear,” said Marlene Cain, Chairman of the Board, Big Bear Chamber of Commerce.

This community is in serious need of the bridge–a matter of safety in the event of a disaster.

The current financial disaster has resulted in several more businesses closing–including Bear Mountain Trading Company on Moonridge Road.

Fee Free Weekend
This weekend, August 14-15, 2010 is a fee-free weekend. A National Forest Adventure Pass will not be required for visitors recreating in areas of the national forests that typically require one.

The fee-free days support the goals of President Obama’s America’s Great Outdoors Conference and First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” initiative by actively supporting and promoting programs, projects, and initiatives that encourage the use of the outdoors by the American public.

GG will be on in the hills this weekend if all goes as expected!

Fun Run
Lots of locals have been waiting for the 21st Annual Big Bear Lake Antique Car Club Fun Run–and it is this weekend from August 13-15,2010.

The first vehicles will be arriving at the Bartlett Street parking lot early on Friday.

On Saturday, the “Show and Shine” will allow the classic car viewing until 3:45 p.m. when the Fun Run drive around Big Bear Lake takes place.

Ren Faire
Once again it is time for the Big Bear Renaissance Faire which will be held in Fawnskin from August 14-15 and 21-22, 2010.

Locals are groaning but the reenactment is popular with some and a re-creation of an English Summer Faire–and in it’s 16th year.

The local Ren Faire features Queen Elizabeth’s Royal Court, Knights Jousting on Horseback, Archery Tournament, Live Steel Battle, Living History Encampments & Demonstrations, Ethnic Food & Drink, Belly Dancers, Jugglers, Musicians & Singers, and a Midsummer Fairy Forest Children’s Area.

Fawnskin Luau

Moose Lodge Members will be heading over for the annual luau at Moose Lodge 2085 on Saturday at 5pm. Only $8 so bring a guest–like music too!

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This entry was posted on Friday, August 13th, 2010 and is filed under Events, Fawnskin Folk, Small Town Living.

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