27 April 2005

Conditional approval for Foothill bridge




At last night’s City Council meeting, the Council received the following recommendation from the City Manager:

Adopt a Resolution authorizing the City Manager to issue a major encroachment permit to the University of California for a pedestrian bridge crossing (Foothill) over Hearst Avenue east of La Loma Avenue on the following conditions: 1) an improved bridge design is submitted and approved by the Public Works Director, in consultation with the Design Review Committee; 2) any detrimental effects on the immediate community are offset by contributing to specified pedestrian safety and public infrastructure improvements in the “Hearst Corridor,” in the amount of $200,000; and 3) all plan check comments and other technical issues are resolved to the satisfaction of the Public Works Director.

During the Public Comment period, Alan Seher, attorney for the owners of the adjacent National Register–listed structure, informed the Council that contrary to the university’s assertion that a tunnel alternative is not feasible, there are many tunnels under the campus, including one under Gayley Road.

Councilmember Gordon Wozniak did not even wait for a discussion but immediately moved to adopt the City Manager’s recommendation.

Councilmember Kriss Worthington introduced a substitute motion, including a requirement that U.C. defend and indemnify the city from any legal action resulting from its approval of the encroachment permit. That motion passed.

Councilmember Worthington also included a requirement that U.C. pay market rate for the encroachment permit, but this clause was voted on separately and went down to defeat.

Indemnification of the city can’t be done without the U.C. Regents’ approval. This story is not over yet.

Here are some campus tunnel stories:

Under Cal (with photos)

Berkeley Underground (Daily Californian, 8 June 2001)

Campus Tunnels (downloadable text files)

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