Save Our Bridge: Mill City committee close to reaching fundraising goal

September, 2016 Posted in Arts, Culture & History
Mill City Rail Road Bridge

Mill City Rail Road Bridge

By Mary Owen

Construction on Mill City’s Historic Railroad Bridge may begin next year, thanks to the successful fundraising efforts of the Save Our Bridge Committee.

Committe Chair Lynda Harrington said the committe is well on its way to saving the historic bridge.

“We have raised 90 percent of our goal toward the restoration project,” Harrington said.

“Recent donations from the A.J. Frank Family Foundation, NW Farm Credit Services, Santiam Brewing and private donors totaled $56,000 in July alone!”

As of Aug. 1, Harrington said $180,000 has been raised toward the committee’s $200,000 goal. Repairs slated include repair to the understory and new decking, railing and lighting, she said.

Formed in 2014, the SOB Committee partnered with the city of Mill City to assess and restore the historic bridge in time for the 2019 Centennial Celebration of the bridge’s placement over the North Santiam River in 1919.

Centennial Restoration Project
Donations to the Historic Railroad
Bridge Centennial Restoration Project
may be made at U.S. Bank, Go Fund Me
and Mill City’s City Hall.
For information, call Lynda Harrington,
503-897-3432.

Two years ago, the Ausland Engineering Group of Eugene evaluated the bridge’s condition and estimate the project cost at $400,000, which will be split between the SOB committee and the city.

“The SOB’s have been busy selling T-shirts, buttons and note cards and raising funds through special events, Go Fund Me, and major donor requests,” Harrington said.

“Large and small donations have come in from across the nation. We even had a $5 donation from a young girl in Happy Valley.”

Harrington said the city has raised half of its commitment with 50 percent already in a designated fund.

North Santiam Historical Society president and SOB committee member Frances Thomas is enthusiastic with the support given for the bridge restoration.

“We are delighted that the community has come together with enthusiasm and support for this important project,” she said.

Harrington and Thomas agree that restoring Mill City’s Historic Railroad Bridge will enhance civic vitality in the North Santiam Canyon.

“The committee is committed to preserving a historic structure which provides much community enjoyment,” Harrington said. “Restoring the bridge will lay the foundation for another 100 years of public use and enjoyment.”

Donations to the Historic Railroad Bridge Centennial Restoration Project may be made at U.S. Bank, Go Fund Me and Mill City’s City Hall.

For more information, call Lynda Harrington at 503-897-3432.

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