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Bill Lockyer Bay Trail Bridge

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By Jason Sweeney @ The Oakland Tribune

Posted: 05/08/2010

The opening of a pedestrian (and bicycle - ed.) bridge marked a major milestone in a long-term project to build a recreational trail that circles the San Francisco Bay.

About 80 people came out Friday under a brilliant blue sky for the opening ceremony of the 300-foot pedestrian/bicycle bridge that connects San Leandro to Oakland at the Oyster Bay Regional Shoreline.

The bridge, christened the "Bill Lockyer Bay Trail Bridge," completes the 300th mile in the San Francisco Bay Trail, and unites a 20-mile leg that stretches from the Martin Luther King Jr. Regional Shoreline in Oakland to the San Mateo Bridge in Hayward.

The bay trail has been coming together piece by piece since work began in 1989. It got its start in 1987 with Senate Bill 100, authored by Lockyer, then a state senator. The bill authorized the Association of Bay Area Governments to develop and adopt a plan for a continuous recreational corridor around the perimeter of San Francisco and San Pablo bays.

About 200 miles are left to build before the trail is complete, with some of the trickiest sections crossing narrow rights of way or adjacent to sensitive natural habitats. It has been estimated that the trail will be completed in about 10 years.

"I want to say that we are exceedingly proud to have this bridge in San Leandro, and to have played a part in seeing the 300th mile of the San Francisco Bay Trail completed today," Mayor Tony Santos said during the ceremony.

The city of San Leandro was the lead agency on the $3.6 million bridge project, in collaboration with several local, regional, state and federal agencies.

Project funding included a $1 million pedestrian/bicycle grant from the Alameda County Transportation Improvement Authority.

The city of San Leandro decided to name the bridge after Lockyer for his part in making the trail a reality.

"Does this mean I'm responsible for cleaning graffiti on the bridge?" Lockyer said when Santos unveiled the bridge sign.

"It's not sending a man to the moon," Lockyer said to the crowd. "It's just taking four times longer. "... There's still a lot of work to do."