Alameda-Oakland Bridge Project Moves Forward

City of Alameda--The Alameda-Oakland Bicycle-Pedestrian Bridge will allow bicyclist and pedestrians better connectivity between West Alameda and Oakland.

Alameda-Oakland Bridge Project Moves Forward

On Tuesday, July 12, the City Council voted 4-1 to execute two contracts to complete the next planning phase for the Alameda-Oakland Bicycle-Pedestrian Bridge. The approval of the city staff recommended plan authorized two consultant firms to complete the Project Initiation Document (PID) for this project.

Earlier this year the city negotiated a contract with HNTB Consulting, a national infrastructure design firm with offices in San Jose and San Francisco, for $1,350,000 to handle the PID phase services, according to the city staff report. The city also negotiated a $200,000 contract with Arup, global design firm, to “further support the effort, provide specialized engineering expertise, and [provide] peer review services.”

Alameda’s Director of Building, Planning, and Transportation, Andrew Thomas, and the Budget Manager Rochelle Wheeler, spoke to the council about the item at the meeting. They stated that the total amount needed for the PID, $1.55 million, would be funded in full via a grant from the Alameda County Transportation Commission (ACTC).

According to Wheeler, this bridge will support a projected number of five to six thousand bicyclists and pedestrians each day. She also emphasized that last week CalTrans noted this project to be one of the top three in the region.

Thomas mentioned that this project “has regional support, because it has regional benefit.” He also stated that there would be opportunities for community check-ins in the future with advisory groups to take residents’ inputs into consideration. Mayor Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft supported the project’s potential for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the area, as well as reducing the negative health impacts on the residents in Oakland and Chinatown.

Councilmember Tony Daysog was the lone "No" vote. He stated that he was “not sure if it’s a wise way to spend taxpayer dollars." He highlighted that the projected cost of the actual infrastructure may cost upwards of $200 million and was unsure if it was worth the price, despite the “excitement” for the project. He offered the alternative idea of creating water taxis at the estuary, which may present reduced costs and also asked for analyses on the impact of this project on the parking spaces in Alameda that may be potentially occupied by the stadium goers.

Councilmembers Trish Herrera Spencer and John Knox White voiced their support for the project, while acknowledging that the price was on the higher end. Spencer confirmed that the bridge would be accessible to disabled persons, by allowing for motorized bicycles, as well as accommodating to emergency suppliers. White stated that this project is a “big step forward” toward building solutions for the climate crisis.

Vice Mayor Malia Vella mentioned that she would be supporting the project, indicating that she commended the staff’s work on this and that she saw it as a great “regional opportunity” for Alameda’s connection and reach in the region.

This bridge for the West End has been a long-term project of advocacy group Bike Walk Alameda, and it aims to completely change and revitalize the transportation options available to the residents of Oakland and Alameda. This will connect the two cities from Jack London Square in Oakland to Webster Street. The funding for the project will stem mainly from the countywide transportation sales tax.

Before the PID, ACTC financed the project scoping and right of way analysis, according to This phase of the project began in February 2021.

The PID is expected to be developed in 18 months. HNTB worked on the Oakland-Alameda Access Project and the 2021 Estuary Crossing Study and the Oakland Alameda Access Project, while Arup developed the 2009 Estuary Crossing Study report, according to the agenda memorandum. An estuary crossing solution has been discussed since the 2009 report was published and became a high-priority in the City of Alameda’s adopted Pedestrian Plan.