Officials gathered last week at the Kaiser Permanente Campus on Owens Drive to break ground for the final Pleasanton 1.5 mile link in the Iron Horse Trail, which will connect Santa Rita Road to the Pleasanton/Dublin BART station.
"This is just one more link, linking up Pleasanton to the regional trail system," said Kurt Kummer, former head of the Bicycle, Pedestrian and Trails Committee. "People are going to find they can get on their bike and go from downtown Pleasanton to Danville, or to Livermore, all the way to Lake Del Valle."
The trail link will be a way for people not in cars to travel between schools, homes, work and shopping. It will also connect the BART station and major corporate business offices and employment centers in Pleasanton, such as Kaiser Permanente in the Hacienda Business Park.
"It's going to be a nice walk for people. They can walk where they haven't been able to walk before," Kummer said.
The link should be ready for use by the end of the year, weather permitting, said Emily Hopkins, spokeswoman for the East Bay Regional Park District.
Officials at the groundbreaking included Pleasanton Mayor Jerry Thorne; Park District Board Member Ayn Wieskamp and General Manager Robert E. Doyle; Alameda County Supervisor Scott Haggerty; BART Director John McPartland; and Kareen Knowles, Kaiser Permanente Associate Medical Group Administrator.
The 1.5 mile link is part of the East Bay Green Transportation Initiative, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation's TIGER II grant; the East Bay Regional Park District Measure WW park bond; the Caltrans Environmental Enhancement and Mitigation program; the Alameda County Transportation Commission; and the city of Pleasanton.
The Iron Horse Trail is a paved pedestrian and bicycle trail located primarily within the former Southern Pacific Railroad right of way established in 1891 and abandoned in 1977. In 1998 a license agreement was entered into by and between EBRPD and Alameda County for the purpose of constructing a trail within this right of way.
When completed, the trail will offer a continuous multi-use pathway extending from Martinez on the Carquinez Strait to the San Joaquin County line near the Altamont Pass.