“We’re hoping that there will be no further delays, because we’ve waited a long time for this bridge,” Turner said. “The whole grant process started in May 2004, and it’s taken this long to get it to this stage. Right now, it’s sitting in Coolidge, Ariz., waiting to be delivered, and we’re really excited about it.”
Turner said the overall cost of the bridge, including construction work, state permits and other expenses, would likely exceed $500,000. The board hopes to host a grand opening ceremony before the end of February.
Flossie Horgan, Land Trust executive director, and Grace Adams, Bolsa Chica Conservancy executive director, said the project was a tribute to different groups, and to individual citizens, working together.
“It’s been a long time coming, but it really is a tribute to the community responding,” Horgan said.
The bridge will provide an easy walkway to pedestrians at Bolsa Chica, who currently have to walk alongside traffic on Warner to make it from the parking lot to the mesa. After the installation, Adams said, the conservancy plans to resurface the parking lot and add a decomposed granite trail and native vegetation leading to the foot of the bridge.
Adams noted that Orange County Sup. John Moorlach had played a major part in resolving the bridge’s permitting issues. She added that while Bolsa Chica’s three main environmental groups — hers, the Land Trust and the Amigos de Bolsa Chica — have not always seen eye to eye, they were able to join together on the bridge project.
“I think there’s joint recognition by the three groups that public safety is of prime importance,” she said. “The safe passage of visitors coming to the reserve is critical.”