Work Begins On San Jose Bridge Over Dangerous Rail Crossing

SAN JOSE (KCBS) – Following a tragic accident more than five years ago, a new pedestrian bridge is finally starting to take shape in south San Jose.

It was November of 2005 on Monterey Highway near Blossom Hill Road when a babysitter, who had three kids with her, was using the nearby railroad tracks as a shortcut to get to a fast food restaurant.

KCBS’ Mike Colgan Reports:

Tragically, the 2-year-old boy got away from her and was hit by a southbound Amtrak train.

Valley Transportation Authority General Manager Michael Burns said he understands concerns on why the project took so long to get started.

“The project took this amount of time because it took a long time to get the funding together from all the different sources,” he said. “We had a number of agencies that needed to coordinate on the project.”

Then San Jose City Councilman Forrest Williams, who was instrumental in getting the funding rolling for the project, said the area was a disaster waiting to happen because of all the people who used the tracks as a shortcut.

“There’s no other way to cross safely. There’s no other way,” Williams said. “You have to go all the way down to Chynoweth or you come across here.”

The $10 million pedestrian bridge is scheduled to be completed early next year.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

  • bob

    It’s a waste of money.

    • Suzie

      I will guarantee that people will still try to cross the tracks than walk a few extra feet to use the bridge.

  • bob

    It’s not a waste of money, fake-bob, it’s common sense and the responsibility of the city

  • John

    Just pour concrete walkways up to the tracks!!!!!! I live just to the left of the tracks here and have for over 20 years been very aquainted with this problem. The toddler killed only three blocks from here. The money spent on a bridge could have built 40 simple concrete walkways that are at ground level!!!!!! 20 with crossing gates just as they have all along the Cal trains route as in Mountain View Palo Alto. Oak Grove students all cross at he end of Hayes Ave., everyone from Cottle and Blossom Hill cross on the south near IBM. You need the same in 10 other spots such as Capitol and Monterey. This bridge is another example of a few stupid disconnected people involved in the San Jose planning commision. It is much more dangerous crossing in front of the cars on any road than it is the trains, the train is predictable and obeying the law, the drivers of cars are not.

  • john

    It is a pain to push a stroller up a pedestrian bridge, the bridge will still dump you onto the middle of the Blossom Hill clover leaf, you then have to cross the one, or both of the very dangerous exit ramps from off Blossom Hill. If we had ‘simple inexpensive’ walkways to the left (towards the AM/PM) and to the right (towards Walmart) we could could all cross easily and safely. It is just walking up the rocks, stepping over the 9″ rails and down the other side that makes it dangerous. And to get to the new “ped’ bridge you will have to cross the cloverleaf traffic on Cottle by Lowes, rather than just go straight to the right towards Walmart and to the Cal trains stop, which when they build the new 2000 plus townhomes on IBM they will want to cross immediatly right behind Lowes, towards Caltrains and Walmart, not go over a stupid bridge. The students from Oak Grove would have to walk along the edge of Endicott road under the overpass (which has no sidewalk) and or cross right ‘on’ the cloverleaf!!!!!!!!!!! You could make a sidewalk up to the rails and down the other side for $3,000 labor and materials, I could do it myself. I wonder how much, but I bet this bridge is going to cost us over $600,000.

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