Feds to help fund Broadway Bridge planning

The city of West Sacramento has been awarded a $1.5 million federal transportation grant for planning work for a local traffic bridge it and the city of Sacramento hope to build over the Sacramento River just south of the Highway 50 Pioneer Bridge.

The proposed bridge would connect Broadway on the Sacramento side with the lower end of the developing Bridge District in West Sacramento. Sacramento Rep. Doris Matsui, an advocate for the new bridge, announced the grant Wednesday.

“As both Sacramento’s downtown core and the city of West Sacramento continue to grow, it is essential that we increase transportation options and connectivity in the region,” Matsui said in a press statement. “This bridge will improve economic vitality, public safety, and quality of life in the region by providing easier access to jobs and other core services on both sides of the river.”

The planning grant, which will come from the federal Department of Transportation’s TIGER VI Discretionary Grants Program, will help the two cities finish initial environmental studies for the span.

West Sacramento Mayor Christopher Cabaldon and Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson lauded the Broadway bridge funding. Both commended Matsui for her help.

“This ... grant is representative of the federal government’s understanding of the importance of urban redevelopment and responsiveness to our region’s needs,” Cabaldon said.

The cities also are working jointly on planning for another bridge, just north of the existing I Street Bridge. Officials have said the two bridges are still several years away from construction, but that work on the new I Street bridge could start in 2018. Federal officials already have signaled that they intend to help fund construction work on that bridge. The old I Street Bridge, which is owned by Union Pacific, is expected to remain in place with continued use as a rail crossing.