Paso Robles News|Saturday, June 3, 2023
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Crews work on River Grove Bridge 

–Friday afternoon, two large cranes lifted the 100-year-old River Grove Bridge over the Estrella River in Whitley Gardens, and set the bridge just south of its abutments.

The abutments on either side of the Estrella River will be completely rebuilt by Souza Construction. In about a month, the bridge will be returned to its original position connecting River Grove Road. The project is funded by Cal Trans.

The bridge was built over the Estrella River in 1910. For many years it served as the only river crossing at Whitley Gardens. The new towering concrete structures which connect Highway 46 over the Estrella River just north of the old River Grove Bridge were opened in 2012.

In April 2017, an NBI inspection of the old River Grove Bridge listed its condition as “fair.” The overall status was described as “needs repair or corrective action.” The deck geometry said to be “Basically intolerable requiring high priority of replacement.”

An estimate of cost to repair the bridge in the 2017 inspection was $958,000. That was for both the bridge and approaching roadway.

As for the channel and channel protection, the inspection stipulated:

Bank is beginning to slump. River control devices and embankment protection have widespread minor damage. There is minor stream bed movement evident. Debris is restricting the channel slightly.

At one time there was discussion of naming the bridge after the late Lester Rogeout, who lived on the river bank just a few hundred yards from the bridge. The reconstruction of the abutment and reopening of the bridge is expected to be completed by Labor Day.

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