By Rachel Wulff

BRIDGEPORT (CBS13) — A piece of the past is now bridging generations after a one-of-a-kind renovation in Nevada County.

Sue Hoek reminisced about days gone by at the Bridgeport Covered Bridge.

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“In 1969, as a kid, this was huge,” Sue said. “My grandma would come here and lead the cows across the bridge. A hundred and fifty, 200 head of cows.”

“Still, when I stand here, I can hear it,” Sue added. “I can hear the bells clanging, I can hear my grandma hopping and hooping to my cows, and off they go across that bridge.”

The 225-foot single-span howe truss, burr arch structure is the only one of its kind in the United States.

“It is the only one, period. There is not another one,” Sue said. “So that’s what’s so exciting about this.”

She’s talking about the recent $6.9 million rehabilitation that was spurred by a citizens group.

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“They were the S.O.B.’s — they were the Save Our Bridge — and I tell you this group got together and made this community rally,” Sue said.

The bridge harkens back to the 1800s when gold was discovered.

“This was the way to get back and forth to these little mining communities. From here, north San Juan. French corral,” Sue said.

Tolls came in time and then time took its toll, prompting repairs. The county documented the efforts and invited children to join in the celebration.

School children made videos about the bridge and drew pictures, earning the right to walk across the bridge first when it opened.

“What I’m excited about is other people are going to build memories here,” Sue said.

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It’s like a postcard from the past sent to inspire future generations.