Baker County commissioners on Wednesday authorized the Road Department to spend about $45,000 on parts needed to build a new bridge over East Eagle Creek.
Commissioner Bruce Nichols was absent.
Roadmaster Noodle Perkins said the current bridge, which gives access to mining claims and to recreationists, is failing. The structure is near where Hudson Creek flows into East Eagle Creek, in the Wallowa Mountains about 30 air miles northeast of Baker City.
Money for the bridge parts is coming mainly from the Road Department, as well as smaller private donations.
“We are getting some donations from the community to help pay for some of the costs of this, so it is a community wide project and we greatly appreciate the support,” Commission Chairman Bill Harvey said.
Miners from that area have donated $385 toward the new bridge, which is a few miles from the site where the film “Paint Your Wagon” was filmed in 1968.
Several trails into the Eagle Cap Wilderness start in the area as well.
The new bridge will be longer and stronger than the current structure, with an 80,000-pound capacity.
The current bridge, which the county owns, has a value of $10,000, and the county will store it in Baker City in case it’s needed as a temporary structure.
Harvey said the current bridge doesn’t meet Forest Service standards, so the agency wasn’t interested in taking the structure.
Construction on the new bridge will start this summer.
In other business Wednesday, commissioners awarded a contract for performing the county’s audit to Pauly Rogers & Co. of Tigard, which has done the county’s audit before.
The county received three bids for audit services.
Christena Cook, the county’s administrative services director, said the county’s budget committee unanimously agreed that Pauly Rogers & Co. was the best option.
Commissioners are scheduled to meet Feb. 19 at 9 a.m. at the Courthouse, 1995 Third St.