It definitely gets your attention and raises your curiosity.
The Harbor Drive Pedestrian bridge is designed to rise majestically into the East Village sky. When the bridge is done, the bridge will connect this parking lot near the new Hilton, and span 550 feet across the railroad tracks on Harbor Drive, to Petco Park.
But until then, some just jump the fence and run across the railroad tracks, which can be very dangerous.
Why? Because the nearest existing crossing is on Fifth, about a quarter of a mile away. Padres fans have tolerated the nuisance.
“Right now they have to circumvent the trolley tracks and the railroad tracks to cross over to get to the ballpark and sometimes it takes about 15 minutes for them to do it,” said Mark Guglielmo of Petco Park Operations.
The bridge has been a long time coming and is still not done. The Public Utilities Commission mandate came in 2003 to build it, but construction did not start until 2008. It was supposed to take a year to complete. But that didn't happen.
“Because of the uniqueness of the structure, not only from the design but the fact that we're dealing with so many different entities, the rail entities and others have jurisdiction here, that's what's really complicated the project more than a traditional bridge that you'd see over a freeway or some other location.” Derek Danziger
, Vice President of Centre City Development Corp. Marketing and Communications said.
The entities involved? CCDC, the railroad, MTS the trolley operator, JMI Realty owned by Padres owner John Moores
, and state and federal agencies. Except for Moores' contribution of five million, Scott Johnson
, Project Manager of Centre City Development Corp. says, “It is all taxpayer money.”
The original price tag for the project was almost $13 million. Now it's almost $27 million. More than double.
“During that time period, construction costs were going up about 20 percent so that was typical for any type of concrete or steel project,” Johnson said.
was on the planning committee for the bridge eight years ago. “This thing has just dragged on but it's gonna get done,” Hennessy said.
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Published at 7:07 AM PDT on Jun 23, 2010