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Santa Monica Makes Pier Bridge Improvements

Santa Monica Real Estate Company, Roque and Mark
By Jorge Casuso

April 12, 2013 – A designated walkway that separates pedestrians from bike and vehicle traffic has been added to the Santa Monica Pier bridge ahead of the summer deadline.

Separated by k-rails, the ten-foot-wide walkway on the north side of the ramp was added after removing the hollow concrete sidewalk elevations from both sides of the ramp.  

“The new walkway provides for a flat, easily walkable surface for pedestrians in addition to bringing the bridge rail height to contemporary standards,” City officials said. 

The $150,000 improvements are considered an interim solution as City officials prepare to embark on an $8.35 million project to replace the Pier Bridge, which is expected to take place in late 2016.

The new bridge will maintain two traffic lanes -- one in each direction -- and will be wider than the existing structure, which was built in 1939.

“By replacing the existing bridge, the structural sufficiency will be improved making it safer for vehicular, bicycle, and pedestrian use,” according to City officials. “Improvements will meet current seismic standards thereby making the structure available for long-term use by the community.”

The bridge is the primary route for pedestrians coming to the pier from Downtown Santa Monica and the only access for vehicles to the pier deck parking lot.

Because the sidewalks on the bridge were inadequate to accommodate the volume of pedestrians traveling to and from the Pier, police feared that pedestrians walking in the adjacent vehicle lanes were in danger of being struck if “a driver was to lose control of a vehicle,” according to staff.

Championed by Police Chief Jacqueline Seabrooks, the improvements will make it safer for pedestrians to access the pier. In addition, the City Council last summer voted to reduce the speed limit on the bridge from 10 to 5 mph. 

The Pier bridge -- which extends some 500 feet west from the intersection of Ocean Avenue and Colorado Avenue to the Santa Monica Pier -- will continue to be closed to vehicles during large events such as the LA Marathon and holiday weekends.

The Pier Bridge qualifies for replacement under the Highway Bridge Program (HPB) and is eligible for federal Toll-Credit funding, which reimburses 100 percent of the cost to replace the bridge, staff said.

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