Bridge seen as crucial to project 

A four-lane bridge is one of the most contentious components of redevelopment plans centered at the shuttered Hunters Point Naval Shipyard, where 10,500 new homes could be built in the next two decades.

The proposed 902-foot Yosemite Slough Bridge would extend Arelious Walker Drive north from the Candlestick Point area over the mouth of a narrow waterway known as Yosemite Slough. It could improve transit and cycling opportunities for planned new neighborhoods, but its development could impact nesting birds and tidal mud flats in the natural restoration area, according to the environmental impact report from the San Francisco Planning Department.

The NFL has told The City that the bridge is needed to carry fans north from the Peninsula to a proposed 49ers stadium.

All lanes, including two for cyclists and pedestrians and two bus lanes, are planned to open for automobile traffic only when games and events are held at the proposed stadium. But critics say new residents and businesses could push for cars and trucks to be allowed to traverse the span at all times.

With the shipyard now part of the 49ers’ backup stadium plans, city officials have begun extolling the proposed bridge’s general transit benefits.

If the stadium is not built, officials plan to use its site north of the slough for a business park targeted at environmental and green-tech industries.

“The bridge is an important element of the project’s transportation plan, with or without the stadium, especially for the job-generating green tech center on the shipyard,” according to a Mayor’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development draft memo.

The redevelopment plans will be debated today by a Board of Supervisors’ committee. The office expects to seek final board approval in June.

Construction of the bridge also will require approval by the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

“Without the bridge, the [bus rapid transit] would run approximately an additional mile through an industrial area around Yosemite Slough and through seven additional intersections with extra right turns, degrading the effectiveness and appeal of public transit and pushing more automobile traffic onto neighborhood streets,” the memo said.

The Sierra Club and other environmental groups oppose construction of the bridge.

“There’s shadowing and then there’s the noise,” Sierra Club spokesman John Rizzo said. “It’s just incompatible with the stated purpose of this area.”


Proposed Yosemite Slough Bridge

  • 902 feet long
  • 81 feet wide
  • Supported by 16 columns
  • Could reduce travel times around Yosemite Slough by five to 10 minutes
  • Two center lanes reserved for buses
  • Two outside lanes reserved for pedestrians and cyclists
  • All four lanes used for auto traffic on game days if NFL stadium is built
  • Alternatives being considered could lead to narrower bridge plans

Sources: Mayor’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development, San Francisco Planning Department

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