The new bridge over Tulocay Creek just north of Home Depot hasn’t opened yet, but that hasn’t stopped some active Napans from getting their exercise or walking their dogs over the new span.
Pedestrians and their four-legged friends have been recently spotted on the bridge. When it opens this summer, the new span will link an extension of Gasser Drive in back of Home Depot north to Soscol Avenue through land undergoing development.
This span is part of a new network of roads that will open up Gasser Foundation land north of South Napa Marketplace and west of Soscol Avenue for residential and commercial development. Plans call for several new car dealerships, up to 500 apartments and other new construction in coming years.
Construction of the new street and overpass is moving along smoothly, said Joe Fischer, a Gasser Foundation spokesman.
As of last week, the paving of the Gasser Drive extension ends just west of the Gasser office building on Soscol Avenue. The new bridge is installed but not completely finished, and is not connected to the paved road just yet.
The bridge span is 125 feet long by 46 feet. Including approach slabs, it totals 161 feet.
The bridge opening will happen this summer in time to lessen traffic congestion tied to the opening of school, said Fischer. Before then, the end of Kansas Avenue (and beginning of Gasser Drive) that connects to the south end of the bridge has to be raised another four feet to meet the bridge, he said.
There will be no left turn from Soscol Avenue into the Gasser Drive extension – only right in and right out turns, he noted.
After the street and bridge opens, improvements will continue on Soscol Avenue.
For example, on the west side of Soscol, the old sidewalk has been removed. Soscol will be widened and restriped so that it eventually includes three lanes in both directions.
To accommodate those six lanes, in the next four to five years, Caltrans will replace the current Soscol Avenue bridge over Tulocay Creek.
Fischer is one of the key members of the team working on the Gasser development but one question momentarily stumped him: The name of the new bridge.
“We haven’t talked about it,” he admitted. Until now, it’s been referred to as just “the bridge over Tulocay Creek,” said Fischer. But, “every bridge has a name.”
“We’ll do something,” Fischer said.