Cupertino's Mary Avenue Bicycle Footbridge over 280 will open with a ribbon cutting ceremony 3 pm Thursday, April 30. Save the date! The ceremony will be the at the south end of the bridge, at Mary Avenue and Meteor Avenue.
Up until now, motorists on 280 have had the best view of the dramatic white cable stayed structure soaring above the freeway. The bridge will serve north-south bike commuters, including Cupertino/San Jose/Saratoga folks heading to jobs near the Bay and Sunnyvale/Los Altos DeAnze College students heading to school. It is the only cable stayed bridge over a California freeway.
The bridge was a pie-in-the-sky dream in Cupertino's 1998 bike plan, the first official bike plan in the county, but was then identified as a key link on a proposed Cross County Corridor in the 2000 Countywide Bicycle Plan. Thus it was eligible for bicycle project funding provided by VTA's Measure B, passed in 1996. Measure B funds paid for 80% of the final bridge cost of $14.8M, with the City and other grants covering the rest. Cupertino traffic engineer Ray Chong got the ball rolling right away, applying for funding for a feasibility study, which included contentious meetings with neighbors. Cupertino Public Works Director Ralph Qualls worked extensively with the Cupertino and Sunnyvale residents who have the bridge approaches over their back fences to satisfy their desires as much as possible. He also oversaw a last minute cost cutting, bridge saving redesign in 2007, from mainly concrete to mainly steel, and then the construction this past year.
(Post courtesy of Anne Ng.)