Let’s Build a Bridge: Local Officials Come Together for Groundbreaking Ceremony for the Big Bear Bridge

Though no ground was broken, the Big Bear Bridge project is officially underway as of yesterday’s groundbreaking ceremony, which was held at the Big Bear Lake Performing Arts Center and included a number of officials. Those in attendance included local leaders, key personnel from CalTrans including District 8 Director Dr. Raymond Wolfe, and representatives for Senators Dutton and Ashburn, many of whom spoke from the stage following the opening presentation by Mountain Fifes and Drums and the Color Guard from the Valley’s Civil Air Patrol Cadet Squadron #6750. CalTrans consultant Dennis Green first addressed the crowd at the PAC, saying, “From this point forward, we’re no longer calling it the dam project, we’re calling it the Big Bear Bridge.” Green had been the community liasion when CalTrans widened Big Bear Boulevard in the ‘90s and is currently overseeing the community task force for the bridge, though noted, “The forum to debate the merits of the project has ended. Now we’re going to build this bridge!” CalTrans District Director Wolfe said the long-awaited project has “languished” but it will now be a signature project; in addition to replacing the 1923 dam bridge and roadway, he said, “We’re not just going to build concrete retaining walls, but something that really fits in. The aesthetic treatments will meld in with the environment.” The project, to be completed just southwest of the dam by contractor Flatiron Construction, will include three 12-foot lanes, 10-foot shoulders, an ADA-compliant sidewalk and a traffic signal at the intersection of Highways 18 and 38. The $39 million project had been slated to begin in February, but road re-striping on Highway 18 was held due to snowstorms. When work does get underway, Project Manager Rob Richardson of Flatiron tells KBHR, there will be roughly 20-30 jobs available for union journeymen. Some Flatiron employees are expected to temporarily relocate to Big Bear Valley, though headquarters for the project will be in Highland. As Big Bear Lake Mayor Rick Herrick said, “This is a major project that over five million people a year are going to see. We look forward to when this bridge opens in 2011.”

CalTrans provided this artist's rendering of the future Big Bear Bridge.

CalTrans provided this artist's rendering of the future Big Bear Bridge.

CalTrans consultant Dennis Green introduced the project, prior to comments from (left to right) County Supervisor Neil Derry, Ken Dally of the Big Bear Chamber, BBL Mayor Rick Herrick, Larry Broedow for Senator Bob Dutton, Jim Dooley of the Fawnskin Chamber, Rex Moen for Senator Roy Ashburn, and CalTrans Director Raymond Wolfe.

CalTrans consultant Dennis Green introduced the project, prior to comments from (left to right) County Supervisor Neil Derry, Ken Dally of the Big Bear Chamber, BBL Mayor Rick Herrick, Larry Broedow for Senator Bob Dutton, Jim Dooley of the Fawnskin Chamber, Rex Moen for Senator Roy Ashburn, and CalTrans Director Raymond Wolfe.

The groundbreaking ceremony kicked off with music from Lake Arrowhead's Mountain Fifes and Drums and the presentation of colors by the Civil Air Patrol Cadet Squadron #6750.

The groundbreaking ceremony kicked off with music from Lake Arrowhead's Mountain Fifes and Drums and the presentation of colors by the Civil Air Patrol Cadet Squadron #6750.

Related posts:

  1. Thursday’s Groundbreaking for New Bridge to Take Place in the PAC
  2. Big Bear’s Chief Master Sergeant Furniss Honored for 34-Year Career in Three Branches of the Military; Local Ceremony on April 11
  3. Local Veterans Come Together for Big Bear Lake’s Annual Veterans Day Ceremony at Veterans Park