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Bay Bridge Bike Path: Cheaper is Better

The existing bike path on the eastern span of the Bay Bridge meets an abrupt dead end, though it will be extended to Yerba Buena Island next summer. Plans are underway to extend the path to San Francisco, but it won't be cheap.
November 15, 2014, 7am PST | Irvin Dawid
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"Bay Bridge officials are looking for a cheaper way to build a two-mile trail along the western span after a study estimated the project would cost a whopping $400 million to $500 million," writes Dennis Cuff of the Contra Costa Times. Arup North America, Ltd won the $10 million contract for the engineering study to develop a less costly design for the bicycle-pedestrian path.

Up to four alternatives will be examined in detail for a 12-foot-wide steel deck path separated from auto traffic lanes along the 2-mile-long west span between San Francisco and Yerba Buena Island.

Two days earlier, Cuff wrote that the "Bay Area Toll Authority, the regional agency that collects toll money to operate the Bay Bridge and six other state-owned spans," indicated that the current estimate was "too much."

"It's just not fundable within our current constraints," said John Goodwin, a spokesman for the toll authority. "The plan is to look at alternatives to shrink that estimate and come up with something that is buildable and fundable.

The new $6.4 billion eastern span, from Oakland to Yerba Buena Island, opened in September, 2013. The bike path could not extend fully to Yerba Buena Island "until workers demolish a portion of the old bridge," wrote Justin Berton of the San Francisco Chronicle shortly before the new span opened.

"Renee Rivera, executive director of Bike East Bay [formerly the East Bay Bicycle Coalition], said the study was 'a crucial next step to get to a fundable plan for a west span path' and was confident the price can be pared down," writes Michael Cabanatuan of the San Francisco Chronicle.

[Hat tip to MTC-ABAG Library's News Headlines]

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Published on Thursday, November 13, 2014 in Contra Costa Times
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