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January2, 2024 | Gulling Street Bridge Update

Gulling Street Bridge Update and Information

City staff has been in contact with Cal Trans, outside engineers and local county agencies, including the Plumas Unified School District, and are discussing a plan of action.  We have a team of engineers working on the issue, and they will be here Thursday to conduct an actual site visit and inspect the affected area.

We remain hopeful that after Thursday’s inspection, the City may be able to resume traffic to some of the heavier vehicles, including school buses, but we don’t want to make that promise until after the engineers conduct their inspection. We have many good things going for us with the construction of our bridge.  We have continual super structure beams with continuous steel girder, which provides for an extremely stable and redundant environment.

Regarding the traffic signs prohibiting any vehicle over 6 tons. This weight limit is for the vehicle you’re driving, it is not for the total sum of all vehicles at any given time on the bridge. There has apparently been some confusion regarding this, and it may be a reasonable question to ask regarding total weight, but drivers need only be concerned with the vehicle they’re driving.

As stated previously, the City decided to take a proactive approach to notifying those affected, fully expecting a recommendation from Cal Trans to restrict the total weight limit on the bridge. The anticipated recommendation from Cal Trans is just that, recommendations, not mandates. The Gulling Street Bridge has been in a “Scour Critical” standing for several years, but it seems last year’s weather event may have exacerbated the issue. We have been and will continue monitoring the bridge and expansion joints for any movement. Despite the recent findings, the bridge has shown no movement, and that’s an important factor in determining how to proceed.

We thank you for your patience and concern for the safety of our citizens. We will provide periodic updates as needed.

Thank you,

Jon Kennedy, Interim City Manager, City of Portola

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