Bridgeport Main St. project earns state recognition

Press release

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.

CalTrans Award Bridgeport

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.”



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25 Responses to Bridgeport Main St. project earns state recognition

  1. Trouble April 20, 2016 at 5:05 am #

    Being from Bishop, I find this almost amusing. I have old pictures of Bishop that have almost the same style of street parking as Bridgeport does now. I assume Caltrans was responsible for taking away our parking?

    • Dan April 22, 2016 at 9:01 am #

      Yes it is interesting that CalTrans has for years eliminated “head-in” parking, such as what once was in Bishop (and also my own home town of June Lake,) citing the safety issue of backing into oncoming traffic when leaving the parking space. The new development here is that you “back in” to this style of parking, so that when you leave the space you’re simply merging into the oncoming traffic. It was controversial at first, but it works! Other towns will be following suit. Our Mono County Community Development team did an excellent job with this effort.

  2. Mono Person April 20, 2016 at 8:36 am #

    Congratulations Wendy, Tony and Steve- you guys worked very hard on this and continue to work hard for our community! We are very lucky to have you a part of Bridgeport!

  3. Low-Inyo April 20, 2016 at 11:40 am #

    Trouble…..tourism,my friend….just like up in Mammoth….big,fancy condos,”the village”,the big,fancy bars and restaurants….lots of people… place to park.

  4. Bridgeport Back-in April 20, 2016 at 2:30 pm #

    Ask the locals how they like the back in parking…. Little less support from the people who actually live here. But glad CalTrans is happy!

  5. Tinner April 20, 2016 at 5:47 pm #

    With the exception of fishing, 6 months out of the year, what does have Bridgeport have to offer that is going to convince “travelers to get out of their cars and explore the quaint town”?
    Sure as heck ain’t the price of gas. I bet tours of Sean Penn’s jail cell would get more people to stop than any parking improvements would. Maybe the biker rallies should be brought back.
    What did this “revitalization” cost us?

    • Tinner April 20, 2016 at 6:26 pm #

      …speaking of bikers, since beer needs to be chilled and how cold Bridgeport can get in winter maybe tax incentives could be created for a brewery.
      I got no beef with revitalization as long as it creates revenue and I don’t see any additional draw to Bridgeport that will create revenue. People will stop for beer like they stop for beef jerky (Olancha).

      • Mono Person April 21, 2016 at 10:16 am #

        Have you been attending our meetings? :-). We have some new, fresh business owners in Bridgeport and we have been in discussions with all of those ideas! Old and new business owners are very excited about the increased interest in saving our little town.

      • Tinner April 21, 2016 at 1:46 pm #

        Sorry for getting off topic, good job everyone.

    • Low-Inyo April 21, 2016 at 2:26 pm #

      Tinner….Bridgeport is a GREAT place to visit year around…just cause they don’t have a lot of taverns and night life,a pot shop,and places where tourists can gather and party and get drunk and high,like their neighbors about 50 miles south….some people like to get out of their cars and “explore” the town streets,the courthouse area,and take the drive to Twin Lakes,where it is well maintained even in the dead of winter….Bodie nearby,Mono Lake to see and visit…..since 1969 it’s been,and always will be my favorite town to visit and vacation in …even off fishing season…..and about your brewery suggestion ….to bring in more tourists….I bet the residents would like that about as much as they wanted Cougar Gold and their mining explorations….and the ga-zillions of dollars….for them to come in and ravage the Bodie Hills a few years back,with their promises of hundreds of jobs for the locals.

      • Mono Person April 22, 2016 at 7:12 am #

        Actually from someone who has lived in Bridgeport almost their entire life and attend community meetings and BoS meetings about Bridgeport, we would love to have a brewery here. And about 90% 0f the locals wanted Cougar Gold because they were not going to “destroy” Bodie Hills and bring jobs to Bridgeport.

        Our elementary school is down to 45 kids, we need families to move here and we need growth. South county residents are in a very envious position of saying, “I’ve got mine, now I don’t want anyone else here.”

        • Low-Inyo April 23, 2016 at 6:24 am #

          Mono Person….Cougar Gold “wasn’t going to destroy ” ?…their double talk on what they were going to,their threats,who they were going to hire,talking of dumping toxic waste into Nevada? Have you ever been around a mining exploration site…and especially if they were to think they might have found anything ? It would’ve turned Bridgeport upside-down,would’ve turned the road to Bodie into a circus,and when they finally left,the environment near and far would have been destroyed….Bodie,and getting there never would have been the same.The town of Bridgeport is going to survive…..always has….always will…for those that don’t like the way of life up there,they should move…if “90% of the locals wanted Cougar Gold” it would have happened…

          • Mono Person April 24, 2016 at 8:45 am #

            Low-Inyo, you being from where you are, and I being from Bridgeport, I guess we need to respectfully agree to disagree.

          • Low-Inyo April 24, 2016 at 7:26 pm #

            Mono Person….I agree….your lucky living in such a great little town….spent many a day and night there….GREAT memories….back in 2000,got stuck in Swauger Creek Campground 5 miles north of Bridgeport …for a week…in March,truck problems,out of gas and money and staying in a camper shell and truck…the lady working at the post office hooked me up with the local Baptist Church up there,got me some food,supplies and gas and got me on my way….ever indebted to them for that,in fact they are in my will…great little town and great people.

      • Tinner April 25, 2016 at 1:36 pm #

        Well if there were any tourists there would be.

  6. Mono Person April 21, 2016 at 6:45 am #

    There are plenty of places to park in Bridgeport, if you know how to back up. If you don’t, then maybe you shouldn’t have a drivers’ license.

    In regard to tourism, that is the major business in Bridgeport, whether it is fishing, hiking, hunting, camping – without it our little town would dry up.

    • Larry April 22, 2016 at 5:23 pm #

      back up parking is a waste of time and discourages stopping I rarely stop now days been going through since the 60’s, Caltrans is very illogical and can barely maintain what they have!

  7. sick of whiners April 22, 2016 at 8:28 am #

    Getting slightly off topic, watch the movie,” Out of the Past” starring Robert Mitchum. It shows Bridgeport and it’s surroundings as I was in the ’50’s.

    • Mono Person April 24, 2016 at 7:53 am #

      Stay at the Silver Maple Inn, in the room Robert Mitchum punched a hole in the wall after having a bit too much to drink :-)!

  8. bpgolfer April 22, 2016 at 6:26 pm #

    If this back up parking is so great why didn’t it happen years ago? I used to stop in Bridgeport on my trips to Nevada but I will no longer stop but just drive thru and leave the back up parking to the locals.

  9. Mono Person April 24, 2016 at 7:51 am #

    Ok, back-up parking haters, there are plenty of other places to park that do not involve back up parking in Bridgeport. Look at the bigger picture for Bridgeport…

    What was really great about what CalTrans allowed, was turning Main Street into a 2 lane thorough-fare. We had people speeding through town because they could finally pass. It was very dangerous for our kids walking to school and all pedestrians. Cars have really slowed down going through town.

    We also now have a bike lane, which is nice and have you seen the area around the Courthouse?

    Wendy, Steve and Tony worked very hard to bring back a small town feel to Bridgeport and we still have a way to go. Sometimes it is easier to complain than to congratulate.

    • Larry April 24, 2016 at 9:47 am #

      Good Points!
      Why hasn’t Caltrans done this for every town on 395?
      They have speed limits that make no sense, 30 mph in Lee Vining is fine, why 35 mph in Big Pine with more year around activity, parents, children etc going to and from a school on the highway, Independence which does not have much going on is 30 mph also?
      We have plenty of 4 lane 395 with good passing in Inyo County but motorist still speed through every town.
      30 mph seems about right for all towns on 395?
      Maybe we should have roundabouts in the middle of every town?

  10. Mono Person April 25, 2016 at 7:19 am #

    Larry, another thing that affected Bridgeport, is that it is 2 lane both North and South of town for miles. At least, in Lone Pine to Lee Vining, you have some 4 lane roads so people can pass slower cars. Our town was like the AutoBahn – “I can finally pass!!”

    • sugarmagnolia April 26, 2016 at 4:33 am #

      that is something I miss, the opportunity to pass a slow moving truck or RV….albeit I would do it slowly, if the RV went 25 through town, I could past them doing 30. Now Caltrans owes the traveling public a passing lane…or, eliminate the stupid 2 tiered speed limit. Most state’s do not have 2 different speed limits on the same highway.

      Or, better yet, require RV drivers to have special licenses, that will kill the RV rental business!

  11. erik simpson April 25, 2016 at 3:08 pm #

    As one who spent many years in the SF bay area, but is now fortunate to be living here on the east side, I think it’s hilarious to see people griping about traffic and parking problems. In Bridgeport, of all places!


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