State legislation concerning a limited source of funding for a third bridge spanning the Feather River has moved a step closer to reality.

Assembly Bill 449, co-authored by Assemblyman James Gallagher and state Sen. Jim Nielsen, would transfer funds from the sale of Caltrans properties here to Yuba City for the purpose of eventually building a third bridge, according to a press release from Gallagher’s office.

“The idea would be for a lower level crossing of the Feather River – it would probably be a smaller bridge and maybe only accessible part of the year, which they’ve done in other communities,” Gallagher said. “The concept is that it would cross the Feather River on the other end of Yuba City and south of Marysville.”

He said additional roadway capacity across the Feather River is necessary to meet anticipated future travel demands.

“Transportation infrastructure is vital for the safety of residents and the smooth operations of businesses across the region,” he said. “I am proud that we were able to demonstrate the need for these funds to the committee and confident that we will be able to continue building support for this bridge.”

The concept of a third bridge has been discussed for decades and Caltrans had acquired property and right-of-way for a project, but gave up on it a few years ago and announced that the property would go up for sale.

Six travel lanes are currently provided on the Twin Cities Memorial Bridge and the Feather River Bridge to meet the combined travel demand of approximately 74,000 average daily trips (ADT), according to the press release.

The combined travel demand is anticipated to increase to 170,000 ADT by 2035.

“The State recognized the need for a third bridge in Yuba City to span the Feather River in the early ‘90s, but it has been removed from the list of planned projects,” Gallagher said in the press release. “Since the State won’t build the bridge, we are asking to sell the property so that we can develop the project locally, because as people of the North State, we get things done.”

Assembly Bill 449 heads to the Senate floor for further review.

“We got improvements like widening Highway 99, the overpass at Highway 113 and the four-lanes on Highway 70 in Yuba County but the bridge got taken off the list,” he said. “At the same time, Caltrans had purchased property on both sides of the Feather River with the intention of building the third bridge. So now, the idea is to keep the funds local and build the third bridge.”

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