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Sonoma County Gazette
The old Monte Rio bridge
The old Monte Rio bridge will be demolished. The new Bridge will meet modern construction standards and be more resistant to seismic activity. Photo:

Spring is in the Air and...
We’re Getting a New Bridge!

A wonderful opportunity to have a say
in the Design & Implementation

Jan 30, 2019


While much of the rest of the country is still experiencing cold and snow February is springtime in Monte Rio. Thanks to the recent heavy rains the hillsides are carpeted in a vibrant green color, my camellia bush is about to explode with flowers and the plum trees will soon be blossoming! Mother Nature is working her magic in our little hamlet.

We’re getting a new Bridge

OK – it won’t be finished until 2024 but the planning has begun and the county has solicited community involvement. The 2nd community workshop was held on Jan 10th and polling at the meeting indicated that the preferred bridge alignment has the egress for the bridge at Main Street by Noel’s Automotive. The county is aware that there are concerns about this placement and is open to hearing from any and all affected parties. As far as design goes – the overwhelming consensus was that it NOT look like the Guerneville bridge but instead be a reflection of local character and preserve the natural beauty of the Russian River. The new Bridge will meet modern construction standards and be more resistant to seismic activity. There were many design ideas. Viewing platforms were suggested as well as incorporating mosaic tiles with fish or river themes into the design. The new bridge will have wider vehicle lanes as well as both bicycle and pedestrian lanes. Construction will take place over 2 summers ( 2023-2024) and the current bridge will remain open during that time. The County is giving us a wonderful opportunity to have a say in something that is so much a part of our daily lives. I encourage everyone to attend the next workshop where more design ideas will be discussed. More information and ongoing updates can be found at

Key questions for community members:

What do you appreciate most about the current bridge?

What do you think of the location of the bridge?

How do you use the bridge and how might it better support those uses?

How can we shape the new bridge to reflect the local community?

Email us at

Rio Bistro at the Village Inn

“Thanks to the wonderful support of Judy and Roger at the Village Inn”, Paul & Alain ( Rio Café and Grill & Scoop of Sonoma) are excited to announce the opening of the Rio Bistro. Monte Rio’s historic and beloved Village Inn will be home to their new venture which will feature an array of country comfort food at reasonable prices. Featured menu choices may include fried chicken, beef stew, steak and potatoes, pastas, the Rio burger, salads and homemade desserts. Dining out on the deck in the summer while enjoying a cocktail or glass of wine is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon or evening. It never gets old. Sitting inside during the winter isn’t bad either. The Village Inn was the setting for some interior scenes from the classic movie “ Holiday Inn” featuring Bing Crosby.  I’m not sure anyone really knows which scenes from the 1942 film were filmed at the Inn (then known as River View Inn.) The story goes that Bing did not want to interrupt filming while he was attending a Bohemian Grove encampment so the location was changed to accommodate him. The name River View Inn was subsequently changed to Holiday Inn to match the film before being changed once more to Village Inn in 1952. The Rio Bistro is scheduled to open March 1  –  winter hours are Friday 12:00 – 9:00 and Saturday/Sunday 10:00 – 9:00. Judy and Roger and Paul and Alain and staff invite you to come on in and enjoy some local hospitality and artisan comfort food. See you at the VI!

Supper Club is Back – After a short hiatus in January, Friends of Monte Rio Supper Club returns with guest chef Russian House of Jenner and music by French Oak Gypsy Band. Also returning after a January hiatus is Game Night on February 14. Both events are held at the Monte Rio Community Center. More info at

'Spike Heels'  written by Theresa Rebeck — “ a comedy right out of today’s headlines about the “ Me Too” movement.” First produced in 1992 and coming soon after the Clarence Thomas hearings, it originally starred Kevin Bacon in one of the lead roles. Spike Heels opens March 1 and runs through March 23.Don’t miss it – “ it will knock your socks off”  2019 season subscriptions available now! Reservations/information 707-524-8739  and



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