FILLMORE : Ground Broken for Replacement Bridge

Construction began Friday on a $6-million concrete bridge to replace the historic but dangerously narrow Bardsdale Bridge, which crosses the Santa Clara River to connect Fillmore and Moorpark.

The new bridge will have two lanes, each 12 feet across, and eight-foot shoulders on each side. In contrast, the lanes in the 65-year-old steel structure are less than 10 feet wide.

At a groundbreaking ceremony Friday, Ventura County Supervisor Maggie Kildee related her first experience driving a 1965 Cadillac over the bridge from her home in Camarillo several years ago.

“I almost decided to turn around and go back the other way,” Kildee said, referring to her fear that the narrow lanes might not have accommodated two vehicles at once.


The existing bridge on California 23, also known as Grimes Canyon Road, will continue to operate until the replacement is finished in the spring of 1995, California Department of Transportation officials said.

The new bridge will be twice as wide but, at one-third a mile, the same length as the existing structure, officials said. A five-foot-wide sidewalk and a nine-foot chain-link fence along the sidewalk also will be built.

Once the new bridge is complete, the old one will be demolished, officials said.