News Release from the Chief Adminsitrative Office of El Dorado County:
COUNTY AND COALITION OF RECREATION GROUPS AND LOCAL BUSINESSES AND RESIDENTS REACH AGREEMENT ON MOSQUITO ROAD ACCESS
(PLACERVILLE, CA) – The County of El Dorado and a coalition comprising American Whitewater, El Dorado County residents and businesses, and other conservation and recreation organizations today announced an agreement assuring continued access to Mosquito Road Bridge aka “The Swinging Bridge” and the South Fork American River. In February 2017, the County Board of Supervisors voted to maintain Mosquito Road Bridge for pedestrian and bicycle use after completion of a new, safer bridge that will carry vehicles across the South Fork American River to Mosquito and Swansboro.
“We’re pleased that we could preserve our commitment to public safety, health and welfare by replacing the unsafe Mosquito Road Bridge to serve the residents of my District while at the same time allowing the public to utilize the bridge and area around it to access a popular waterway for rafting, kayaking, fishing, rock climbing and other recreational activities that El Dorado County is known for,” said Supervisor Michael Ranalli.
In the Memorandum of Understanding reached on May 9, 2017, the County agreed to allow year-round, unencumbered pedestrian and vehicle access to the South Fork American River at the bridge dawn to dusk unless a closure is required for emergencies or maintenance. The agreement also states the County will facilitate informal parking along the road for four to six cars and work with the coalition to consider a more permanent parking solution that won’t require County funds or land purchases.
“Our primary concern was the elimination of a popular river recreation access point that hundreds of people use annually,” said Theresa Simsiman, American Whitewater’s California Stewardship Director. “The County heard our concerns and worked with us to find a solution that would allow residents and visitors continued access for all kinds of recreational use as well as a new, safe bridge.”
County officials anticipate the annual cost of maintaining Mosquito Road Bridge for pedestrian and bicycle use will be approximately $15,000. The expenses will be covered by Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) Cooperation Agreement funds. If the Board of Supervisors finds the maintenance to be economically infeasible, it will meet with the coalition to consider other funding options.
“The collaborative nature of the agreement between the County and the coalition will benefit the residents of the county who have concerns about the safety of driving on Mosquito Road Bridge and those who use the area as an access point to enjoy the beauty this county has to offer,” said Ranalli.
Construction on the new bridge is expected to begin May 2020 and be completed by October 2022.
Photo below Mosquito Road Bridge by Max Blackburn