Following nearly a decade of discussions, studies and public outreach, work has begun on a long-awaited pedestrian and bicycle overcrossing aimed at providing Iron Horse Regional Trail users a safer option than traversing a busy road in San Ramon.
City, county and parks district officials convened near the intersection of the well-traveled regional trail and Bollinger Canyon Road last week for a groundbreaking ceremony celebrating the launch of construction on the "Iron Horse Trail Bollinger Canyon Road Bicycle and Pedestrian Overcrossing Project".
Although construction of the project is anticipated to take approximately 18 to 24 months, according to an announcement from the city, the start of work at the site is seen as a victory for the officials and safety activists who first began seeking to bring it to fruition more than a decade ago.
The initial idea for the overcrossing project came as part of the San Ramon Valley Bicycle Pedestrian Corridor Concept Plan, approved by the City Council in 2009. A subsequent feasibility study for the project was conducted as a collaboration between the city, Contra Costa County, the town of Danville and the East Bay Regional Park District.
Funding for the next phases of the project, consisting of community outreach and preliminary design, was secured by the city via Measure J in 2012.
The overhead bridge is aimed at facilitating safer travel for pedestrians and bicyclists along the Iron Horse Trail, and preventing them from encountering vehicles as is currently the case, in which trail-users use a traffic signal to cross Bollinger Canyon Road on the ground. Other aims include increasing vehicle traffic flow without the existing traffic signals and stops and encouraging trail use.
The final design and construction phase is the fourth and final stage of the project, which is set to be completed by the end of next year.
Final design was selected based on feedback from the extensive community outreach phase of the project in the years between the feasibility study and the May 18 groundbreaking, city officials said. The total cost for the overcrossing is expected to come out to $29.1 million, funded by $13.2 million in Measure J funds, $10.5 million in grants, $2.9 million in long-term debt and $2.5 million in other city funds.