At the Mono County Board of Supervisors meeting on April 12, Caltrans District 9 Director Brent Green presented the 2015 Caltrans Excellence in Transportation Award for the Bridgeport Main Street Revitalization Project to the Bridgeport Valley Regional Planning Advisory Committee, represented by committee member Steve Noble, and Mono County staff Wendy Sugimura and Tony Dublino, The consulting team and Caltrans District 9 staff Terry Erlwein, Forest Becket, and Joe Blommer also received recognition for their work on the project.
Each year, the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) highlights the best of its work and its partners through the annual Caltrans Excellence in Transportation Awards Program. According to the award announcement:
“Bridgeport is steeped in a rich mining, ranching and Old West history with strong ties to the vast public lands surrounding the town. The community identifies with a rural, self-reliant and traditional way of life; including a close-knit community and quaint main street. Unfortunately, the old highway configuration of five vehicle lanes did not reflect this community’s character (and was no longer needed as a cattle thoroughfare). Bridgeport was often nothing more than a convenient passing opportunity for motorists.
“Today, with the reduction of vehicular lanes, increased parking and added bicycle lanes, the highway better reflects Bridgeport’s identity as a small and rural, but complete, town with a community rich in history and a commercial district worth experiencing. The increased parking invites travelers to get out of their cars and explore the quaint town. The bicycle lanes encourage a multi-modal community and support local bike rentals. Together with reduced travel lanes, all these features reflect a community Main Street rather than a highway that happens to pass through a town.
“The Bridgeport Main Street Revitalization project is an inspiring example of the community, Caltrans, and the County collaboratively building consensus, defining solutions and efficiently implementing change.”
At the award presentation, Director Green stated, “This is a significant accomplishment for the community. You’re way ahead of the curve in what you’ve done here with participation… and we’re starting to get calls throughout the state asking ‘hey, what did you do, how did you do it, and how did it work.’ …If you don’t already know, it’s gained statewide recognition, and you should all be proud of that.”