Berrellesa Bridge open to traffic

MARTINEZ, Calif. – Berrellesa Bridge was officially opened to traffic Tuesday after a ribbon cutting hosted by the City of Martinez. The 150 foot bridge links Berrellesa Street to a new Amtrak parking lot north of the Amtrak station.

The additions mark the last phase of the Martinez Intermodal project which began over 20 years ago. The three-phase project was initiated in 1994 when the City acquired the old railroad yard south of the tracks in downtown Martinez. It continued in 1997 with the construction of a parking lot with enhancements to Alhambra Creek, the replacement of the railroad bridge, and the addition of two northerly tracks. Later in 2001-2002, the Amtrak Station building and platforms were completed and opened to the public. Then in 2008, the City purchased the old cannery property – the site of the Phase 3 project.

Phase 3 was funded by Measure J funds, and includes realignment of the Ferry Street entrance road, the construction of a new parking lot near NorCal Courts and Universal Sports Academy, and the bridge linking the lot to the station and the Berrellesa Street foot bridge over Alhambra Creek. The project also includes pedestrian and trail improvements connecting Berrellesa Street, the Bay Trail and Ferry Street.

The new vehicular bridge was constructed of reinforced concrete over lightweight polystyrene blocks that prevent it from settling in the bay mud. Its location was chosen after an access study showed the area would have the least amount of impact on the downtown while providing easy, alternative access to the Amtrak station, overflow parking and the rest of the marina.

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