The Bayfront-Hauke Park Bicycle & Pedestrian Bridge, which was closed in early September for safety concerns.

It vastly pales in comparison to bay-spanning engineering marvels like the Golden Gate and Bay bridges, but the understated importance of the tiny Bayfront-Hauke Park Bicycle & Pedestrian Bridge came into stark contrast in early September.

That’s when residents reported movement on the bridge, inciting the City of Mill Valley to close the bridge between the eastern slice of the City and the rest of it after an analysis found failure of one pier and likely deterioration of other supporting piers. The move forced throngs of commuters, from young students to those headed to the Financial District and beyond, as well as tourists heading to or from Mill Valley, to circumvent the bridge by heading on Roque Moraes Dr., a narrow roadway with few safe resources for bicyclists and pedestrians. 

The closure, and the outpouring of support for its speedy repair, appears headed for a happy ending, as the Mill Valley City Council last week unanimously backed a plan to declare the situation an emergency, find the necessary repairs to the bridge to be categorically exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), authorize a $195,000 budget adjustment to pay for the work and to award the necessary repair work on the failed piling and railings.

The City had some good favor in looking to fast-track the repairs. In this specific area, the time period where work is allowed to be completed by the Army Corps of Engineers is between June 15, 2019 and November 30, 2019. And the original permit issued by SF Bay Conservation and Development Commission requires the bridge be kept open to the public at all times as a public access amenity. Couple the poor conditions for pedestrians and bicyclists on Roque Moraes with PG&E’s scheduled vegetation management work with nearby lane closures in the coming months, creating an even narrower pathway for bicyclists, City officials determined that it was critical to expedite this work to preclude the bridge from being closed for another year. 

If everything goes smoothly, this tight window would allow the project to be completed by November 30, according to City Public Works Director Andrew Poster.

The Bayfront-Hauke Park Pedestrian Bridge, which was designed and built by the County of Marin in the mid-1970s, and the city effectively took control of it sometime since then, according to City officials. MORE INFO.

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