A planned pedestrian bridge over Highway 168 in Clovis got a boost this week when state Sen. Andreas Borgeas (R-Fresno) announced that he had secured $2 million in the state budget for the project.
However, that funding is just a down payment on the bridge, which has seen projected costs double since Clovis planners started working on it in 2015.
Depending on the design chosen by the Clovis City Council, the bridge would cost between $13 million and $22 million, a city staff report estimated earlier this year.
More than $1 million in federal grant funding already has been allocated for preliminary design and environmental work.
“It is an honor to have been able to negotiate funding for this worthwhile project in our own backyard,” said Borgeas in a news release. “Making good use of taxpayer dollars in the form of a climate-friendly project like this will provide a healthy alternative pathway for the community and have an impact on our area for years to come.”
Said Clovis councilmember Bob Whalen: “This bridge will help connect medical workers, families, and the greater Clovis community to the Clovis Community Medical Center and the California Health Sciences University Medical School.”
The Funding Challenge
Potential sources to pay for the bridge include city funds, Fresno County Measure C funding, and federal grants.
During a city council meeting in January, Clovis Planning and Development Services Director Renee Mathis said that finding the funding would be a challenge.
“It will take some comingling of funds to get that kind of money together to finish the project,” Mathis said.
Conceivably, because the bridge will connect residents to Clovis and regional walking/biking trails, it could be eligible for state and federal air pollution reduction grants.
Four Design Options