City in the works of a trail/pedestrian bridge project along Enterprise Canal near Highway 168

The City of Clovis in partnership with Caltrans District 6 has developed a Master Transportation Plan of the proposed Class I trail/pedestrian bridge project to be located along the Enterprise Canal near Highway 168.

“We are master planning for a bike pedestrian overcrossing over 168, so the public has an alternative mode of transportation to get north and south of it, that’s totally separate from the roadway,” said Renee Mathis, Planning & Development Services Administrative Manager for the City of Clovis.

Mathis said the plan is to extend the Enterprise Canal Trail where it currently stops, which is at about the Owens Mountain Parkway alignment to and over 168, connecting to the planned Enterprise Canal Trail south of 168.

Right now, pedestrians looking to go across have to go down Temperance Avenue and cross on and off freeway ramps, go through bike lanes and sidewalks.

“The proposed project will provide a critical link and will address the barrier posed by State Route 168, by offering its users a seamless connection,” she added.

The city invited community members to provide input on the process at a public workshop on Jan. 24 at which Mathis said most, if not all, of the feedback received was positive and in support.

“Feedback was positive, a lot of people identified the need and were in support of a pedestrian bridge in this study area, or the general location. We presented three different alternative [plans], all of which received some level of support and various levels of concerns,” Mathis said.

The structure of the workshop was open-house style with exhibits on tables and city staff ready to answer any questions on trail connection and potential alternatives. It included a small presentation and an open discussion that mostly focused on how the trial would connect, what it would look like, and when this would potentially be built.

“Some of the concerns we heard were involving utilities that we want to try to avoid, what is the easiest way to get across and we also got landowners that are sensitive to how the trail impacts the operation of their business or facilities,” Mathis said. “So, they just wanted to voice their opinion about which alternative best suits their properties as well.”

Mathis believes that the connection of this project will greatly benefit the community.

“It’s for safety, for ease of comfort and for connection in continuing the trails. It provides just another link that would support or augment our existing trails,” she added.

The master plan will be completed this spring, at which time further funding and decision making will be required.

“As the city is able to secure additional funding, we would then continue that trail, as planned in our Clovis Trails Master Plan, out into the southeast area,” Mathis explained. “Right now, we have funding to do the master plan, which is what we are finishing. The city has also been successful in securing funding to complete the design of the project. We have not secured construction funding to date.”

In the next phase, city officials will still need to finalize what the actual design will be, where it will be located and the type of structure they will be building.

The city will be working closely with Caltrans on the design of the project, which is expected to take approximately one and half years to complete.