Sonora Inn fix in works a year after collision

Christina O'Haver, The Union Democrat

The most visible temporary building fix in Sonora - the wooden bracing holding up part of the entrance to the Sonora Inn - will be with us a little longer.

The wooden bracing on South Washington Street at Stockton Road was installed on the eve of the Amgen Tour of California bicycle race last May after a driver lost control of his car and crashed into a supportive pier.

The temporary bracing was installed to make the building structurally sound.

The City of Sonora is waiting for Caltrans to issue an encroachment permit before it can issue a building permit for a new pier, according to city officials.

"Until we get those, nothing is a go," Sonora Inn manager Dolly King said.

Caltrans received the encroachment permit application Wednesday and is reviewing it, agency spokeswoman Angela DaPrato said.

City officials said the hotel applied for the encroachment permit to close a portion of Washington Street, a state highway, during construction.

Sonora Building Official Steve Fickel said the hotel has 180 days to complete the job after receiving the building permit.

Contractors will have to replace the broken pier, and the concrete could take three weeks to set, Fickel said.

The hotel has received insurance money for the work and hired a Modesto company to construct the new pier, Fickel said.

Community Development Director Rachelle Kellogg said she has heard more complaints about the broken pier repair than any other damaged structure in the city.

Sonora residents complained about the unsightly wooden brace on - a website recently created by the city to gather the public's input on how to improve downtown.

"They're sick and tired of it and I don't blame them," Fickel said.

He said people have complained that when driving south on Washington Street, they can't see pedestrians approaching the crosswalk from behind the wooden bracing.

The Union Democrat
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