Placeholder Imagephoto credit: Flickr
The Monte Rio bridge

Caltrans will be unable to fund a planned replacement of the crumbling Bohemian Highway Bridge in Monte Rio, Sonoma County officials announced Monday.

County officials said in a news release the transportation department instead will provide approximately $25 million in funding to retrofit the bridge according to modern seismic safety standards. The state of California will also invest in the structure, officials noted.

Caltrans told the county that the cost to cover the Bohemian Highway Bridge replacement project "far exceeded the funding available in the bridge replacement program," according to county officials.

"After the county completed community engagement and finalized the Environmental Impact Report for the bridge replacement, project costs and designs changed and increased over the 10-year process, from approximately $25 million to $88 million," officials explained.

According to them, a new bridge would have a 75-year life expectancy while a retrofitted bridge has a projected 15-year lifespan.

"We have spent six years working on this project only to be back at the drawing board with no viable plan to replace our beloved bridge," Sonoma County Supervisor Lynda Hopkins, who represents the west county district, said in a statement. "This is an incredibly frustrating situation, and our community deserves better."

Caltrans in 2012 found multiple concerns with the Bohemian Highway Bridge, including its crumbling foundation and potential inability to withstand earthquakes.

Analysis back then showed a new bridge would have been cheaper than retrofitting the structure, which was built in 1934, according to county officials.

  • SoCo Calendar
  • Right Now
  • Weather
  • Earthquakes
  • First News
thumbnail FirstNews logoA weekday early morning podcast that offers a first look at the top local news stories and weather forecast you need to start your day.

Sonoma County news stories featuring the latest in breaking news, county government, elections, environment, cultural happenings, and updates on your communities, from Petaluma to Cloverdale, and from Sonoma to Bodega Bay, and everyplace in between.

Subscribe to the Sonoma County First News podcast through our website, the NorCal Mobile App, NPR Podcasts, NPR One, iTunes/Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. 

Read More

Northern California
Public Media Newsletter

Get the latest updates on programs and events.