Pedestrian Bridge Project Closer to Realization

A rendering of the architectural pedestrian bridge between Shepherd Ave. and Owen’s Mountain Parkway. (Photo courtesy of Dwight Kroll/City of Clovis)

On January 18th, City of Clovis Staff presented several items to the Council in regard to the Class I trail/pedestrian bridge project.

The bridge will cross over Highway 168 and be located east of Temperance and south of Owens Mountain Parkway along the Enterprise Canal. 

Beginning in September of 2015, the City of Clovis in partnership with CalTrans District 6 conducted studies to discover if a pedestrian bridge would be beneficial to the area. 

These studies concluded that the bridge would directly link the surrounding uses of land while providing safe transit for pedestrians on the trail network.

In November of 2017, city staff found extra finances when they were awarded $1.2 million in Congestion Mitigation Air Quality (CMAQ) funds for the project. 

The search for a bridge design consultant would take some time once these funds were received. In June of 2019, staff went to City Council and proposed the city come to terms on a contract with Biggs Cardosa and Associates (BCA) to design a signature bridge for the project.

The contract would be broken up into two different phases. Phase one for preliminary designs of the bridge and Phase two for the final design and construction documents.

This phased contract was made to allow for concepts and realistic estimates to be prepared. This would also allow for decisions to either terminate the preliminary design or move forward for completion.

From June 2019 to present time, phase one of the contract is 45 percent completed. 

The completion includes bridge alignment, four bridge concepts, photo simulations of the concepts, and the estimated costs for each bridge type. 

The rest of phase one that needs completion are public outreach, stakeholder meetings, environmental reviews, and preparation of the structural design scheme.

The four bridge concepts were presented to the council with the different estimated costs for each design. One design was a standard CalTrans bridge. The other three were signature bridge designs. 

According to the contract with BCA, they estimated the CalTrans design would come in at  approximately $7.4 million. However, further research showed costs for the bridge were estimated at $10 million.

The other signature bridge designs estimated at higher costs. Prices for these ranged from $15 to $18 million in just construction. 

These conflicts in prices led city staff to find the BCA contract insufficient to complete a signature bridge design concept. 

With this in mind, staff brought three different options to the council. Each option came with the idea of terminating the contract with BCA, or keep the contract and find a way to make it work.

After much deliberation the council was in agreement about choosing option number one. 

This option meant that staff would work with BCA through the completion of phase one of their contract. After which they would return to the City Council and consider if if there is any better option for them to continue with the project, or to continue to phase two of the BCA contract.

Councilmember Drew Bessinger explained his reasoning for choosing option one as the best choice.

“We’re doing it for a good reason,” Bessinger said. “I can get behind this because this is a worthy project. If we can, at the very least, get to a point where we know the numbers are better, we know what our chances are at getting an extension past 2027 are, then we have a little bit of potential to be able to get a funding source for at least part of this.”

The City Council voted 5-0 on the first option shown to them by city staff. During this time, staff will also study and search for different funding sources to help contribute to this project. 

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