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Eyes on the Overcrossing: Mokelumne Bike Bridge Opens

Bike East Bay deserves a thanks for pushing to get bike and pedestrian gaps filled in throughout the Bay Area

Cyclists trying out the new bridge. Photo: Contra Costa

A project to bridge two communities on the eastern edge of the Bay Area officially opened today, allowing people who walk and roll to get across a highway in Brentwood.

The Mokelumne Trail Bicycle and Pedestrian Overcrossing project spans Highway 4, closing a gap in the trail that was created by the highway’s expansion. “Bridges are about connections. One of the benefits is being able to connect with your neighbors and people you haven’t met before,” said Brentwood Mayor Joel Bryant during Wednesday morning's ribbon-cutting event.

“It’s like a quilt when we’re building these trails, sometimes it’s big pieces and sometimes little pieces. Today is a big piece," added County Supervisor Diane Burgis. 

The cost to design and build the bridge was $13 million, with funding from Measure J taxpayer dollars, the State Route 4 Bypass Authority, and bridge toll funds.

"So far [this is] the 1st & only bike/walk overpass for the entire stretch of Hwy 4. Many more like it are needed," wrote Bike East Bay's Robert Prinz, who attended the event.

The bridge is part of a larger development for the area. Plans are afoot to extend the eBART line along Highway 4 from its current terminus at Hillcrest Avenue Station, with a station next to the bridge (the map below, from Brentwood planning documents, shows potential station locations).

Brentwood is also working on a mixed-use project called the "innovation center." It will include commercial space, retail, and relatively dense housing. And, from the looks of things, a whole lot of surface parking lots and asphalt:

At least the bridge "won't have to be built as a second thought, but the developments will arise around it," said Lindy Johnson, Director of External Affairs with the Contra Costa Transportation Authority.

And that's good news for today's recreational cyclists using the trail, and for future residents once there's more development and destinations around the bridge. In Streetsblog's view, it's refreshing, for once, to see bike infrastructure going in before a development, instead of years after. More pics below:

Aerial view of the Mokelumne trail over-crossing. Photo: Contra Costa
Another look at the bridge. Photo: Bike East Bay's Robert Prinz
People biked to the dedication! Photos: Bike East Bay's Robert Prinz


Bike East Bay's Robert Prinz contributed to this story. To learn more about Bike East Bay's efforts to close bike and pedestrian gaps, check out the "Bridging the Bay" page.

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