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Proposal cites bridge replacement

Anna Sobreviñas

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The Gus Manolis Bridge near Selvester’s Cafe was destroyed by a fallen tree Sept. 25. The bridge was part of the university’s Bridge Replacement/Restoration Project in June. Photo credit: David Mcvicker

Chico State proposed to replace the Physical Science Bridge and restore the Gus Manolis Bridge in a bridge replacement study that came out in June.

The Environmental Science Associates conducted a study for Chico State’s Bridge Replacement/Restoration Project which planned to restore the Gus Manolis Bridge located near Selvester’s Cafe-by-the-Creek before it broke Sept. 25. The study also included replacing the Physical Science Bridge located near Holt Hall by summer 2015.

In the proposal, the broken bridge was suppose to be restored by cleaning, painting and repairing the railing.

Since the bridge was destroyed, the university will be replacing it instead, according to Lynda Miracle, assistant vice president of Planning, Design & Construction.

Chico State civil engineering professor Ken Derucher said he looked at the bridge the day it broke and there was nothing wrong with how the bridge was made.

“Basically there’s nothing wrong with the bridge but what happened was the impact from the tree falling on exceeded the fracture safety of the bridge and it failed and that’s all there is to it,” Derucher said.

The Selvester’s Cafe-by-the-Creek bridge was built in 1961 and made of metal and concrete.

The life of the bridges depend on its design and use, Derucher said. They are inspected periodically, maintained and rehabilitated. When designing a bridge, the purpose and the load it can take is taken into consideration.

The study suggested the university replace the Physical Science Bridge with two new bridges so that one can be used by pedestrians while the other is for emergency vehicles. One main concern cited in the study is that the bridge was not compliant with the American Disabilities Act.

The demolition and replacement process for the Holt Hall bridge would start in summer 2015.

The study is part of a regular process in which the university conducts when doing projects that pertain to environmental impacts on air quality, soils, noise and other factors, according to Joe Wills, Chico State’s director of Public Affairs.

Miracle said the new bridge at Selvester’s Cafe-by-the-Creek would have to be submitted to public agencies for replacement such as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. It’s unknown how much it will cost to make the new bridge.

Anna Sobreviñas can be reached at [email protected] or @manilanna on Twitter.

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Proposal cites bridge replacement