Caltrans is proposing the demolition of an historic bridge in Los Olivos declaring it structurally unsound.
Local residents had a chance to voice their opinions on the plan at an informal meeting in Los Olivos Monday night.
It has stood the test of time for over one hundred years but now time has apparently caught up with the old road bridge over Alamo Pintado Creek in Los Olivos.
The old bridge was replaced years ago with a modern crossing on Highway 154 that is heavily traveled day and night.
These days the old bridge is used mainly by local pedestrians, joggers and others on horseback from the northwest side of town.
“I walk or run that thing just about everyday, I go across there”, says Los Olivos resident Bob Altavilla about the old road bridge, “its almost like a part of my home, its right down the street from my house.”
Caltrans hosted an informal public meeting Monday night in Los Olivos on its plan to demolish the old bridge by 2020 at an estimated cost of $900,000.
Caltrans says the old bridge is no longer structurally sound with its concrete pilings sinking into the Alamo Pintado Creek bed.
“The foundations of the piers are sinking slowly”, says Lisa Lowerison with Caltrans, “we have a responsibility to make sure that what the people are walking on is a safe bridge to walk on, so at some point it needs to be removed.”
Those who use the bridge now say its the safest way to go back and forth into town without having to walk on Highway 154 or other busy surface streets.
“I would hate to see it gone out of there, unless they put in another walk bridge”, Bob Altavilla says, “there’s no safe alternative for people to walk, to get across the creek from either side of town.”
Its possible the old bridge could be saved from demolition if its declared historically significant.
In the meantime, Caltrans says it plans to hold another informal community meeting on the bridge demolition as it begins its lengthy environmental review process.