Fremont’s new trail expansion project includes an iconic bridge over 880

Rendering of proposed innovation bridge in Fremont. (Credit: City of Fremont)

Fremont is working on a major trail expansion project that includes a unique bridge that will not only allow people to walk and bike over Interstate 880, but also serve as a signature piece of infrastructure for the Warm Springs area.

The Fremont City Council on Dec. 6 unanimously approved the preliminary design and environmental clearance for the $85 million I-880 Innovation Bridge and Trail Project, which features the 850-foot bridge, held up by cables forming a distinct geometric pattern, connecting Kato Road to Landing Parkway over 880.

“It’s important for us to be able to provide these amenities,” Mayor Lily Mei said, adding, “This is a way for us to really provide bike-pedestrian bridge connectivity, as well as to make a very interesting and also unique skyline statement that would help connect our communities.”

Fremont’s Public Works Director Hans Larsen explained that the design is “rooted in some very tight constraints in the area,” such as the inability to place a foundation in the middle of the highway, necessitating a special, curved structure to accomplish the task of spanning 880. The design selected is the most cost-effective, too, he said.

Beyond the bridge, the project is expected to enhance and expand the city’s trails to connect the Warm Springs BART Station area to the Bayside Business District and Bay Trail. Once complete, it will serve as the southernmost stretch of the proposed 49-mile East Bay Greenway, a bicycle and pedestrian path that beginning with the Ohlone Greenway in Albany and Berkeley.

The city received $5.5 million in grant funding from the Alameda County Transportation Commission to complete the final design and receive environmental clearance and has been working with engineering firm TY Lin International and Caltrans on the design work.

The agencies expect to receive federal environmental clearance in spring, after which they will complete the final design and begin seeking $77.5 million in funding to buy a portion of two impacted properties and construct the project, Larsen said.

If all goes well, they expect to be ready for construction in fall 2024 with completion expected in 2027.

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