We wouldn’t want the city to break the bank, but if at all possible, we strongly urge Arroyo Grande to preserve the historic aesthetic of the old Bridge Street bridge.
Some strengthening will almost certainly be necessary — the bridge, built in 1908, is structurally deficient — but we hope that can be done without sacrificing the historic elements, including the steel trusses, the railing and the wooden planks that form the pedestrian walkway.
This old-timey bridge is an entryway to the Village, which is one of the historic gems not only of the South County, but also of the entire Central Coast. To completely replace it with a modern structure would detract from the character of the community.
The city has done a good job of enforcing architectural guidelines that require property owners to maintain the historic appearance of landmark buildings, often at considerable expense to the owners.
This is an excellent opportunity for the city to return the favor by making every effort to maintain the historic integrity of the Bridge Street bridge. We’ll reserve final judgment until we see the cost estimates, but for now, we strongly support efforts to preserve Bridge Street bridge.