As part of the disaster relief bill signed into law by President Clinton yesterday, $700,000 in funding has been approved for the permanent repair of No Hands Bridge. Depending on the flow of funds, repair work could start as early as this fall. If funds do not flow through the government processes fast enough, repair work may be put off until summer of 1998. Low water flow in the river is necessary for the repair work to be done.
In the meantime, No Hands Bridge will be open for Western States and the Tevis Cup under the protocol set up by the Bureau of Reclamation last year. Once the repair work is completed, No Hands will be permanently open again for all uses.
The running community owes a big debt of gratitude to Larry Suddjian of the Western States Trail Foundation (Tevis Cup) who, more than any other person, was instrumental in bringing this issue to a successful conclusion. Rep. John Doolittle of Auburn, CA was the sponsor of the No Hands Bridge portion of this legislation in the House.
- John Medinger
January 3, 1997 will go down in history as another day in the life of the most famous bridge known to endurance riders and runners from around the world ... the dear old Lady survived another natural event. The great flood of '97 has taken its toll on the flat lands but "No Hands (the Mountain Quarries) Bridge" has again made it through the rushing waters and battering of floating logs. I am pleased to report that the only remaining evidence of high water is the precarious perch of a 48" diameter by 30 foot log resting on the top of the middle pier (about 30' below the top of the bridge). For those of you that are fortunate enough to have the calendar showing the pictures of NHB, take a look at the middle of the train carrying the rocks and you will get an idea of where the log now rests. We will await the subsiding waters so we can see what happened to the foundation that has caused all the concern.
I am also pleased to report that we have been given permission to build an alternate "bypass trail" below the Highway 49 Bridge and parallel the Placer County side of Highway 49 with a connection to the Placer County end of NHB. The trail construction will start as soon as the weather clears and will be completed in about six weeks. Stay tuned for more updates about this important re-establishment of the Western States Trail.
If you need to order the 1997 calendar or the colorful No Hands Bridge poster, contact the WSTF office.
Be sure to visit the WSTF Home Page at http://www.foothill.net/tevis
We hope everyone has a great New Year.
Larry Suddjian, Vice President & Ride Director WESTERN STATES TRAIL FOUNDATION
Now efforts will focus on obtaining funds for stabilizing and repairing the bridge. The Down and Up Ruck-A-Chuck Run will be a fun run this year, but a donation bucket will be available to save No Hands.
The Bridge will be monitored for seismic activity during the course of the race and, should the need arise, the runners or riders will be re-routed along the pre-determined alternate routes. We wish to express our sincerest thanks to the Bureau of Reclamation, Neil Moore, and the general public for their cooperation and willingness to help in this matter.
There will be a work party at No Hands Bridge at 7 a.m. on Friday, June 21. If you can help, please call Norm, 916-638-1161, for details on this.
- John Medinger Western States Endurance Run Board of Trustees
June 4, 1996 - Today will be recorded as a milestone date in the effort to re-open "No Hands" Bridge across the American River near Auburn, CA.
At approximately 9:45 A.M., Steve Anderson, Resource Planner representing the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, gave permission to design and install a gate system at each end of the bridge. The design will be based on an opening that will be wide enough for passage of a pick-up truck and tall enough for a mounted equestrian. There will be a device to lock the gates as is now installed on the existing 48" x 48" gate on the El Dorado side barricade.
Upon receipt of this authority, the Western States Trail Foundation arranged for a site visit to determine the concept approved by USBR. At 7 P.M., a representative of WSTF met with Bill and Jared, owners of High Sierra Fabricators, Newcastle, CA so a design could be developed and cost of construction established. Preliminary discussions set a three workday time schedule to complete re-work and installation of the gates after shop fabrication time. Cost related to this project will be available in a few days.
A meeting has been set up next week where representatives of the USBR, Auburn State Recreation Area, WSTF, Western States Endurance Run Foundation, Robie and Barner Foundations, and Neil Moore will discuss the next phase of the stabilization project.
The cooperation of ALL agencies, foundations, and persons around the world has been an example of how the private sector and volunteers can accomplish an almost impossible task for the satisfaction of the public. Our government really does listen to the voice of the community.
Signatures have been collected from 4,979 persons that have requested the Western States Trail be preserved and the bridge be repaired and kept open to the public in the meantime. Petitions continue to come in from all over the world and this process will continue until the bridge is reopened.
Everyone is encouraged to keep writing your local elected officials, continue to circulate the petitions, and participate in the "Save No Hands Bridge" fundraisers until the bridge is repaired and reopened.
For more information, contact the Western States Trail Foundation, 701 High Street, Suite 228C, Auburn, CA 95603. 916/823-7282, FAX: 916/823-7901; e-mail: 102437.3565@Compuserve.COM or TevisLAS@AOL.COM or firstname.lastname@example.org
Larry Suddjian, Vice President and Ride Director, WESTERN STATES TRAIL FOUNDATION
Tony Rossmann, President, Western States Endurance Run
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