A new pedestrian bridge spanning U.S. Highway 101 in Palo Alto received an official welcome recently when Palo Alto officials cut the ribbon on the $23.1 million project.

The Highway 101 Pedestrian/Bike Bridge Project replaces the seasonal Benjamin Lefkowitz Underpass that was available only half the year (on average) due to seasonal flooding. It provides a new access route to Baylands Nature Preserve and East Bayshore Road amenities and businesses.

The overcrossing includes a new Class I trail connection and links the community to recreation attractions including Baylands Golf Links, hiking and biking trails in the Baylands Nature Preserve, Byxbee Park and the San Francisco Bay Trail.

YouTube video
(Video courtesy of city of Palo Alto/YouTube)

“On behalf of my colleagues on the City Council and the community, I am thrilled to see this bike and pedestrian bridge open and connect the rest of the city to all that the baylands have to offer year-round,” said Tom Dubois, Palo Alto mayor, in a news release. “This is something the community has been looking forward to for a long time and I expect will get a lot of use both for bike commuting and recreation.”

The new Highway 101 Pedestrian/Bike Bridge is about 1,400 feet in length and stretches from the West Bayshore Road landing to the East Bayshore Road landing. Steel trusses spanning East and West Bayshore Road are about 100 feet long and cantilevered about 30 feet over the freeway.

The $23 million project was funded through city funds and county, state and private grants, including a $5.5 million grant from the County of Santa Clara’s Stanford Recreation Mitigation Fund, a $1 million Google grant, and a $4.35 million grant from Metropolitan Transportation Commission’s One Bay Area Grant Program.

The bridge project is one of nine key Capital Improvement Projects in Palo Alto’s Infrastructure Plan, adopted in 2014 by the City Council.