Rising costs continue new bridge delays

City considers two-lane option for 10th Street

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A proposed bridge that would extend 10th Street into Glen Loma Ranch could add a much-needed alternative road to and from the hundreds of homes under construction, but rising construction costs have continued to delay the westside project.

As a way to help push the bridge along, the Gilroy City Council on Nov. 25 looked at ways to trim dollars off of the estimated $27 million project, but could only agree on half of the estimated $5 million in savings from six options.

The bridge, which would be constructed where 10th Street turns into Uvas Parkway, has been on the drawing board since the Glen Loma plan was approved in 2005. The original estimated cost was $4.5 million.

According to the development agreement, the Glen Loma developers would bear the initial project construction cost and be immediately reimbursed out of the city’s Traffic Impact Fee Fund once the bridge is complete. However, the city fund does not currently have sufficient funds, according to city staff.

Reducing the number of lanes from four to two was among the cost-saving measures the council was presented with. The majority of the council balked at the idea, saying the estimated $1 million in savings would not be worth it when considering the city’s expected growth in the next few decades.

“I would hate to have the opportunity to build a sufficiently large bridge to allow for the capacity, but instead artificially shrink it down so it becomes a chokepoint at a later point,” said Councilmember Peter Leroe-Munoz.

The council decided to move forward with eliminating two proposed drop-off zones for Gilroy High School near the bridge, as well as dropping a roundabout proposed for Orchard Drive and 10th Street.

The council is expected to discuss potential funding sources during a meeting in February.