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November 05, 2004

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Publication Date: Friday, November 05, 2004

New trail opens on aqueduct line New trail opens on aqueduct line (November 05, 2004)

Hetch Hetchy path provides access to transit, Veritas

By Huong C. Pham

The Stevens Creek Trail now has a little sister, the new half-mile Hetch Hetchy Trail which opened last week. City officials hosted a dedication ceremony for the bicycle/pedestrian path, which runs through Whisman Park, on Oct. 28.

The trail, estimated to cost $545,000, connects to the Stevens Creek trail and provides access to the Middlefield light rail station. It also links to the corporate campus of Veritas, a software company headquartered in Mountain View off Ellis Street, said Rey Rodriguez, a city senior project manager.

The new trail project was initiated in 1996 by residents near Whisman Park and was funded by the city and Veritas, said Tim Ko, assistant public works director.

The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, which owns the land under the trail's route, granted the license for the six-month construction of the Hetch Hetchy Trail. However, Rodriguez explained that everything must be approved by the commission because the trail runs on top of the Hetch Hetchy aqueduct. The aqueduct carries water from a reservoir near Yosemite to San Francisco.

No building structures are allowed on the trail because the aqueduct cannot support such weight and access to maintain the pipeline must be preserved, said Rodriguez, adding that even the shrubs had to be approved by the utilities commission.

Having overcome the obstacles to construction, the path now provides an off-street route, such as the Stevens Creek Trail.

"It is part of a critical link to developing travel ways for pedestrians and bicyclists," said Cathy Lazarus, the city's director of public works.

E-mail Huong C. Pham at

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