Close to one year after construction began in March 2015 at the Cota Street Bridge, Mayor Helene Schneider and local dignitaries marked the project’s completion at a ribbon cutting ceremony on Thursday. The fifth new bridge in the past four years funded in part by the Federal Highway Bridge Program (FHBP), the West Cota Street project cost the city 11 percent ($1.4 million) of its $10.1 million construction cost. An $8.7 million FHBP grant covered 88 percent of the cost, said Schneider.
The replacement project — part of the long-awaited Lower Mission Creek Flood Control Project — entailed expanding the bridge by eight feet, enhancing lighting, and re-doing a section of Cota between De la Vina and Bath streets, the city’s supervising engineer Tim Gaasch told reporters. “We pushed very hard to get this ready for the public today,” said Gaasch. Lack of predicted El Niño rains helped Granite Construction finish building two months ahead of schedule. Still in the works is landscaping along the Mission Creek bed.
“Lower Mission Creek is becoming a neighborhood asset,” Schneider remarked, referencing the steelhead trout and tidewater goby that make their home in the creek. She thanked creekside neighbors who put up with noise and dust, as well as retired city engineer Pat Kelly, who worked long on the Cota Street replacement project. Kelly’s successor, city engineer Brian D’Amour, expressed similar sentiments. “It’s taken a village to build a bridge.”
City councilmembers Cathy Murillo, Jason Dominguez, Randy Rowse, Gregg Hart, and Mayor Pro Tempore Harwood “Bendy” White assisted Schneider in the ribbon cutting.
Three Cota Street homes bordering the replacement project, now listed for sale by real estate company Goodwin & Thyne, were bought with FHBP money from previous residents. The first, 230 West Cota Street, was purchased for $635,000; it’s now listed for sale at $695,000. The second, 221 West Cota Street, was purchased for $660,000; it’s listed at $675,000. The city bought the third, 536 Bath Street, for $600,000; it’s listed at $650,000. Their purchase prices will go toward financing the bridge.