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Issue date: March 17, 2000

City eyeing bridge over Hwy. 85 City eyeing bridge over Hwy. 85 (March 17, 2000)

By Kate Wakerly

The possibility of developing a pedestrian bridge over Highway 85 to connect the two parts of the city is being reviewed by city staff.

Earlier this year, Council member Mary Lou Zoglin asked if the city should promote including a pedestrian bridge over Highway 85 as part of the plan amendment application that has been submitted by Home Depot, and the council asked that the issue be added to a study session held March 7. At that session, City Manager Kevin Duggan talked about the bridge project and the issues that would have to be resolved in order to construct one.

City staff will work on issues related to the pedestrian bridge, including the legal connection between a pedestrian bridge to the Stevens Creek Trail and a potential hardware/lumber store, the space needs for the bridge landing at this site, the impact on Home Depot site planning and mitigation measures, and the location of the landing for the bridge on the west side of 85 and connection to El Camino Real.

At the March 7 session, Zoglin noted that the bridge project "doesn't have to do with Home Depot -- it relates to the long-standing interest from this part of the city for a connection to the other."

Added Mayor Rosemary Stasek, "I would not want to see 'we will build this bridge if you allow Home Depot.'"

A representative for Home Depot indicated the company was willing to make the project work.

Home Depot has applied for an amendment to the plan for the area, to allow for construction of a store on the site of the former Emporium store. The application is being reviewed in an extensive, complex two-step process as specified by the city council, which would give it a final review.

There is no funding yet for the bridge project, and no dates have been set for any construction, Duggan indicated. The bridge project will be discussed with Home Depot, and even if the Home Depot project does not go forward, city staff will discuss the bridge with any future developer of the land bordering Americana Drive.

"As the property develops, we want to make sure it doesn't forever foreclose the potential for a pedestrian crossing," Duggan explained.

One of the more challenging aspects of constructing the bridge would be situating a landing for it on the Americana side, Duggan noted. On the Stevens Creek side, the landing is relatively easy, he said.


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