Let’s beautify, not uglify, McKinleyville

From the 1.16.13 edition
Opinion page
Rambling Around Town column
By Jack Durham
Press Editor & Reporter

hammondBridgebluesky
Humboldt County Public Works recently announced that it hopes to replace the rusty, crusty, aging Hammond Bridge, which spans the Mad River and connects McKinleyville to the Arcata Bottoms.
ramblingbox. The old railroad trestle, which has stood at the current location for seven decades, is rusting away and is beyond repair, say county officials. At the current rate of oxidation, the bridge will be unsafe in a decade. It’s an important pedestrian, bicycle and equestrian link in the Hammond Trail, so something must be done.
The county is considering replacing the bridge with budget-conscious, low-maintenance, long-lasting cement bridge, kind of like the pedestrian bridge over U.S. Highway 101 in Arcata. The bridge is estimated to cost $3.5 million, and is probably the least expensive option.
This replacement plan is utterly sensible, yet horrifying in its ugliness.
hammondcrossThe old trestle is full of charm and grace. It has interesting geometric patterns and a wonderful patina. It enhances the landscape and is a joy to look at.
The cement replacement, on the other hand, is ugly. It would have a Stalinesque quality, with all the charm of the Humboldt County Courthouse.
When it comes to replacing the bridge, let’s consider other options. Let’s make sure that the bridge is replaced with something aesthetically pleasing. Perhaps an arch bridge?
It will cost more money. Maybe twice as much. But whatever is built we’re going to be looking at for a long time, so let’s make it something we can be proud of.

Central Avenue

McKinleyville has an opportunity to improve the looks of Central Avenue. County Public Works is proposing a median strip down the town’s main drag between School Road and Hiller Road. The county’s goal is to make the busy roadway safer for motorists.
Centralmedian12.12.12The median could also change Central Avenue’s ambience, especially if the median includes landscaping.
The county has said that landscaping is an option, but there needs to be a way to pay for the maintenance of the landscaping.
The existing landscaping, on the sides of Central Avenue, is maintained by the McKinleyville Community Services District through its Central Avenue Landscape Maintenance Zone.
Central Avenue merchants – including the McKinleyville Press – pay a monthly fee on their combined sewer/water bills. This money funds the maintenance of the lanscaping.
Maybe my fellow Central Avenue business owners would be willing to pay a little more to landscape the median?

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7 Comments

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7 responses to “Let’s beautify, not uglify, McKinleyville

  1. Ehhhh

    The bridge should have a plaque displayed at both ends listing the name of the designer/architect, and the names of the supervisors who approved it. If they give our community an ugly bridge, let their names be associated with their ugliness for the next 100 years.

  2. Juan

    Who cares We’ll just grafetee and mark our gang x14SantaAna homes.

  3. LOL

    Who? Never heard of them or seen their graffiti. They must be wannabes. What sort of gang claims property by writing their name on it? That’s what 3-year-olds do.

  4. i agree and love the old trestle bridge. lets hope the replacement has some character beyond being a larger sister/brother of the “K-rail.”

  5. G. Hooper

    There is a huge amount of history around that rusty old bridge. Among other things, a lot of kisses and near-misses took place there. Do you know, if you look close, there are lovelocks on that bridge? google, “love padlocks” if you do not know what lovelocks are. I want a package deal, I want a new bridge that looks just like the old one, with the lovelocks, I want the statue of Mckinley to be moved to Mckinleyville (duh), in trade, they can name our airport whatever they want.

  6. jackdurham

    Several years ago there was an elaborate mural under the bridge on the south side. It was an image of author Charles Bukowski. It was pretty cool. It was nice to know that some of our young vandals enjoy literature.

  7. Number Six

    They should have loudspeakers along the bridge playing Motzart 24 hours a day. Ahhhhhhhnnn Motzart!

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