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It's rare that the Bay Area opens a piece of serious bike and pedestrian infrastructure that is legit and not just a sop tagged onto some massive car project. The South Bayfront Pedestrian Bridge is one such project. And the ribbon-cutting and celebration for the opening of the $21.4 Million project takes place this evening from 5:30 to 9 p.m.

From a city of Emeryville release:

The South Bayfront Pedestrian Bridge project involves the design and construction of a pedestrian-bicycle bridge which will connect to the Emeryville Greenway on the east side and will provide a path across the railroad tracks to connect to the Bay Trail to the west. It will also provide convenient access from central Emeryville to the Bay Street Center. The project includes the ramps and connections from the bridge to existing or proposed projects. On the west side, it will connect to Ohlone Way and the Bay Street parking garage. On the east side, it connects to the future Horton Landing Park.

The main span consists of an S-curved single span across the railroad tracks, about 230 feet long, supported at its ends by concrete bents. It is supported by a single straight bowstring truss/arch that extends diagonally across the deck; the top chord/arch rib is a pair of steel tubes, the bottom chord/tension tie is within the deck framing, and the cable diagonals/suspenders support the deck edges. A concrete slab traveled way, with fencing and lighting, is carried by the steel deck framing.

Prior to the construction of this bridge, Emeryville was essentially cut in two for pedestrians and cyclists along Horton Street between Powell and 40th by a rail yard. The car bridge at 40th has a painted bike lane, but doesn't qualify as usable by people of all ages and abilities. The Powell Street bridge does not allow bikes at all, and is not recommended.

Tonight's celebration begins at Emeryville City Hall, at 1333 Park Avenue. There will then be a parade to the bridge landing on Horton Street that will proceed over the bridge to the Bay Street side where there will be music, food trucks, and further celebration. Two more sneak-peak photos below:

Photo: Sheri Hartz
Photo: Sheri Hartz
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Photo: Sheri Hartz
Photo: Sheri Hartz
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