Back in February, we posted a blog and article on the problems facing the development of the Harbor Drive Pedestrian Bridge. At that point the original $12.8 million budget became an unrealistic low ball number as the budget swelled to over $30 million. The city of San Diego was then faced with the option of returning to the drawing board and coming up with a more ordinary design. Well, the city essentially wasn’t looking for ordinary, and decided to solider ahead with the proposed eye-catching suspension bridge, with a little help from some friends, so-to-say.
The Harbor Drive Pedestrian Bridge will not only create a visual icon, but will provide pedestrians with safe passage from Park Boulevard to the Convention Center without encountering car and train traffic. This project will complete a 100-year old vision of a Park-to-the-Bay link, connecting San Diego’s two most important regional assest: Balboa Park and the San Diego Bay. The bridge will improve traffic circulation and access to and from the waterfront and Barrio Logan as well as connecting the 2,000-space Port of San Diego parking garage with Park Boulevard. Located next to PETCO Park, home of the San Diego Padres, the bridge will safely connect stadium visitors to the other side of Harbor Drive and the Bay. The bridge will include pedestrian barriers and enhanced safety crossing technologies.
So, here’s the latest updates…
As we know, the orginal 12.8 million budget was not enough. Finding a contractor who would even touch this project was a challenge for the city. Contractors hesitated due to all the Federal ‘red tape’ that goes with building over train tracks, but eventually the city was deciding between two. One with a bid right under $30 million, and one coming with a bid right over the $30 million mark. The Centre City Development Corporation (CCDC) accepted the loweat bid at approximately $29 million. With $3 million already spent on design and architecture costs, the total budget now reaches $32 million.
So where is this money coming from? Here’s the list of people to thank:
- $4.9 million to bridge construction and the landing at the Ballpark end from JMI Realty (a private real estate investment and development company) and the CCDC
- $2 million in Smart Grants
- $2.8 million from Federal Transportation
- $8 million in State Grants
- The remaining $12 million from the CCDC
There were a few concerns expressed by the public and officials regarding who will be responsible for the landing at the Convention Center dealing with all the pedestrain and accessibility issues; the Convention Center? The Port of San Diego? The Hilton?
The approval process takes awhile, but they are hoping to commence on the 13th of May. The project is projected to take 15-18 months and should be done sometime late next year.