The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Sacramento District will temporarily close Knights Ferry Bridge starting Friday, Dec. 30, following a structural analysis that determined significant wood deterioration has compromised the stability of the historic covered bridge located in Knights Ferry.
For the safety of the public, the bridge will be closed to pedestrian traffic for an undetermined amount of time until either temporary supports are installed, or full rehabilitation of the bridge is completed.
Since July, USACE had limited the number of people on the pedestrian-only bridge at any given time and confined its use to the middle six feet of the 330-foot-long wood and iron span.
USACE’s South Pacific Division is prioritizing funding for the repair, while staff in the Sacramento District are quickly pursuing contracts for design and construction of temporary and permanent repairs. Consultations with the California State Historic Preservation Officer will ensure that all modifications safeguard the 159-year-old bridge’s status on the National Register of Historic Places.
Some impacts to activities, like river rafting, will likely occur during the complex repairs. Knights Ferry Recreation Areas will still be accessible to vehicles. Both vehicles and pedestrians can cross the Stanislaus River via Sonora Road Bridge, located about 900 feet west of Knights Ferry Bridge.
The last significant repairs and renovation of the bridge occurred in 1989.
Updates on bridge repairs will be posted at https://www.spk.usace.army.mil/Missions/Recreation/Stanislaus-River-Parks/.