News-3-28-07-VirginiaBridge

The City Council voted to replace the Virginia St. Bridge. The Council wasn't happy with the 2010 start date for construction, and asked Legal to see if there was a way they can start building the bridge sooner. Dan Gustin was the most reluctant one to concede the bridge should be torn down, while it was pretty much a no-brainer to Sverazza, Dortch, Zadra and Hascheff. Most of the slides shown showed a signature bridge style with support on the top side of the bridge, and all council members expressed concern with the replacement option and having to 'grade up' to the new bridge's higher level.



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Posted by: Kaseygirl - 3/29/2007 12:48:29 PM
Are you saying that the demo of the Masonic bldg. would only be happening if they were to approve the restoration of the bridge and need to widen the channel? I know that building needs some aesthetic help but it is really amazing and houses a huge 300 seat theater on its fourth floor. It would be really sad to lose a building of such historical signifigance.

Posted by: doofus - 3/29/2007 5:18:30 PM
Just a wild hair maybe. But has anyone considered NO vehicular bridge? Use the funds for something more productive? With all the construction on N. Virginia, we basically have no bridge now and life is going on. The bridge connects two vastly different urban zones, and there are work-arounds 1 block to either side.

Posted by: Mike Van H - 3/30/2007 12:15:19 AM
That is correct Kaseygirl...according to the new report, with the wider North Bypass Channel, about half of the new plaza they built, and the Masonic building would either have to be torn down or severely reconstructed if the bridge is to be restored, which the Council pretty much opposed....The only reluctancy toward replacing the bridge is the bridge has to be a full foot higher than the current roadway, which means tricky ramp-ups will have to be built on both sides. Doofus, that is an AWESOME idea and me and quite a few other people have long advocated shutting Virginia St. off to traffic entirely, and make the entire street pedestrian only from the Truckee River to Fourth St...its been done in L.A., Santa Monica, etc. Sierra and Center St. could be modified to accomodate more traffic each way. Santa Monicas Third St. Promendade is one of the most popular shopping destinations along the coast.

Posted by: Kaseygirl - 3/30/2007 11:53:43 AM
Mike, thanks for clearing that up. I am glad to hear that this idea is being opposed. I do like your idea of closing off Virginia Street to driving traffic but I don't think that we have enough quality shopping, dining and entertainment on Virginia Street to truly create a feeling like the promenades in Santa Monica and such. I feel that we are just beginning to take some big steps toward creating a better downtown and closing down Virginia to foot traffic only may be a bit premature at this time. I can definately see it as a future plan though.

Posted by: Anakin-Marc - 3/31/2007 12:50:56 PM
Just a though, but has anybody considered the possibility of, in the process of building the replacement, moving the existing bridge to possibly one of the area parks like Idlewild or Virginia Lake? Not only would that allow a new bridge to prevent downtown flooding, but it would also allow us to keep the current and historic bridge. If a mansion can be moved, twice, I don't see why it wouldn't be possible to move the bridge, even if it means maybe taking it apart then reconstructing it elsewhere.


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