By Beki San Marin
Richmond, CA December 8, 2022 – It’s Bridge Week in Richmond and through Saturday, people can attend events that showcase the proposed Richmond Greenway Bridge over 23rd Street, a project that would close the Greenway trail’s remaining gap, providing an uninterrupted 17-mile biking and walking path from Berkeley to Marin County.
The proposal grew out of the Richmond Greenway Gap Study, which was funded by a $280,000 grant from the California Department of Transportation.
“It’s going to blow everyone’s minds. It’s going to be really cool!,” said Catherine Waller, an artist and West Contra Costa resident who attended Monday’s Bridge Week kickoff at Armistice Brewing Co.
The weeklong series of events is hosted by Pogo Park, a Richmond-based organization that works to rebuild city parks. Pogo Park collaborated with the city and Civic Well, a nonprofit that helps local governments implement sustainability projects, to carry out the study.
According to Patrick Phelan, infrastructure administrator in the Richmond Public Works Department, the project started in 2021 to close the final gap in the Richmond Greenway that divides the east and west portions of the trail.
This is the first phase of the project. The next will be securing funding for construction, possibly from the Contra Costa Transportation Authority and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, among other entities. Toody Maher, Pogo Park’s executive director, said the bridge is expected to cost between $30 million and $40 million to design and build.
The trail used to be railroad tracks, which were converted in the early 2000s to a Greenway. It is divided by Carlson Boulevard, railroad tracks, and BART tracks, forcing users to exit and travel over half a mile to get back on. Closing the gap will allow for uninterrupted travel from the East Bay, across the San Francisco Bay, to Marin County.