A new extension of the Stevens Creek trail opening Saturday may be the last such opening for quite some time.
The $4.2 million bridge over Highway 85 south is set to open after a 10 a.m. ceremony on June 23 at the end of Sleeper Avenue. The extension connects the end of Sleeper Avenue to Heatherstone Way on the other side of Highway 85, providing trail access to a portion of the city near the Sunnyvale border.
The 1,500-foot long segment features a long sloping bridge entrance near Sleeper Avenue and a switchback ramp down to Heatherstone Way. It includes 100 trees and 1,600 shrubs native to the Stevens Creek watershed.
It has taken 22 years to build the 4.8-mile urban trail across the city to the Bay.
"We have accomplished quite a bit," said public works engineer Robert Kagiyama.
"This latest segment opening is especially significant as construction of the final segment of the Stevens Creek Trail is suspended indefinitely due to the funding challenges that the city is currently experiencing," says a press release from city staff.
Public works now has its sights on that final Mountain View segment, which would extend from the Heatherstone Way bridge along the east side of Highway 85 before crossing back over the freeway at Mountain View High School. It is estimated to cost $10 to $12 million to design and construct.
"Given that challenge, we're going to aggressively go after federal and state grant funds," Kagiyama said. "It will be a while before we get that kind of budgetary commitment."
On Tuesday the Sunnyvale City Council approved a study of future extensions of the Stevens Creek Trail into the cities of Sunnyvale, Los Altos and Cupertino, which shared the study's cost with Mountain View. Kagiyama said the study would examine the relocation of a portion of the Highway 85 sound wall to allow the final Mountain View segment to get around an apartment building just south of the new Heatherstone Way bridge.
The latest extension was made possible with $1.7 million in grants, including $800,000 from the California Natural Resources Agency, a $418,000 from the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, $400,000 from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District and a $145,000 grant from the Santa Clara Valley Water District.