South Lassen Street Bridge opens to Bizz Johnson Trail

Local dignitaries and Bureau of Land Management staff from as far away as Denver joined with staff of the BLM Eagle Lake Field Office May 16, to officially open and dedicate the South Lassen Street Bridge on the Bizz Johnson National Recreation Trail.

Lee Chauvet, chairman of area RAC,  leads walkers across new bridgeWith a ceremonial snip of a giant pair of scissors, Susasnville Mayor Lino Callegari cut a huge red ribbon to open the 225-foot steel span that carries trail users over South Lassen Street and the Susan River at the west edge of Susanville. A group of about 60 then strolled across the gently-arched bridge and walked to the historic Susanville Railroad Depot, where the volunteer Lassen Land and Trails Trust unveiled new interpretive exhibits. The Lassen County Chamber of Commerce also hosted a community mixer to celebrate the events.

BLM Eagle Lake Field Manager Linda Hansen was joined by Recreation Planner Stan Bales in dedicating the bridge to the citizens of Susanville and to the memory of Charlie Richardson, a former mayor and city councilman who died in 1998. Richardson was a strong supporter of the Bizz Johnson Trail, and was among the community leaders who worked with the BLM on trail acquisitions and improvements, including plans for the new bridge.

Opening of the bridge is the realization of a 24-year old dream for local trail users. The span replaces a railroad trestle that was dismantled in 1978, when the Southern Pacific Railroad abandoned the Fernley and Lassen rail line, the route of today’s Bizz Johnson Trail. Community leaders and BLM staff anticipated the day when a new bridge would again link the city of Susanville with the Susan River Canyon, just as the railroad had since 1913.

During the ceremony, Hansen presented numerous "bridge builder" awards to those who helped plan and construct the span. Among those honored were former BLM state directors Ed Hastey and Jim Ruch, former Susanville District Manager Rex Cleary, and former Eagle Lake Area Managers Dick Stark and Mark Morse. Numerous BLM staffers from Susanville, Sacramento, Denver and Salt Lake City also were honored for their assistance.

More photos from the dedication:

Susanville mayor cuts the ribbon

Group strolls across the new bridge


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