Since You Asked: What's the status of the third bridge?
Q: What is the status of the third Feather River bridge project? Has there been any discussions recently on building the bridge?
A: The mythical third bridge project appears to be dead.
For more than 50 years, officials have talked and talked and talked about a bridge linking Yuba City to the Olivehurst-Linda area to relieve traffic congestion in Marysville.
It's probably never going to happen.
The third bridge hasn't been discussed seriously for more than a decade and hasn't been discussed at all since the turn of the century.
Larry Montna, a veteran Sutter County supervisor, said that Yuba City residents should be especially angry the project never materialized.
"If both (the Fifth and 10th street) bridges get plugged up with traffic or wrecks or anything, then we're all effectively cut off from the hospital in Marysville," Montna said in a recent interview. "It's ridiculous. We've been talking about it for 50 years — and we're no closer to having it done than we were 50 years ago."
Montna blames the state Department of Transportation.
"Their planning could've been done by a fifth-grader," Montna said. "They say they have no money now, but they could've gotten it done 30 years ago when they had money, but they didn't."
But Jeff Pulverman, Caltrans District 3 Planning Division chief, said it's just not that simple.
"The third bridge faced very significant financial challenges and proved not to be very viable," Pulverman said.
Pulverman said a new, alternative project is in the early stages of planning.
Transportation officials hope that plans for the so-called Feather River Expressway will achieve the same traffic-relief benefits imagined for the third bridge.
The three-phase project would build a two-lane highway on new alignment from Highway 70 south of Marysville over the levee to Highway 20 at the 10th Street Bridge. Early cost estimates put a price tag on the project of more than $200 million.
Pulverman said planning is still in the very early stages and there is no time frame for when construction could start.
Asked if there would ever be a bridge linking Yuba City and Linda, Pulverman said, "That's hard to say."
Q: I've seen Marysville police cars stationed outside city limits on the E Street and 10th Street bridges waiting for traffic violations. I would think that is outside their jurisdiction. Are they allowed to pull people over in those areas?
A: Yes, police officers can make arrests and issue traffic tickets outside of city limits.
Police jurisdiction is not like it has sometimes been portrayed on television or in movies.
Officers don't just shut their lights off and turn around if someone makes it across the county line or the Fifth Street bridge.
"All police chiefs and sheriffs have operational agreements to work within each other's jurisdictions," Marysville police Sgt. Chris Sachs explained.
That applies to traffic violations as well.
"Agencies have the right to travel over the bridges and enforce laws," Sachs said. "Those operational agreements are statewide."
Since You Asked is published on Mondays. Send questions to reporter Rob Parsons at the Appeal-Democrat, 1530 Ellis Lake Drive, Marysville, CA 95901, email rparsons@appeal democrat.com or call 749-4785.