HUNTINGTON BEACH Bolsa Chica enthusiasts will start the New Year with a long-awaited footbridge connecting the Outer Bolsa Bay with the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve's upper wetlands and mesa, Bolsa Chica Land Trust officials reported.
A footbridge constructed off-site will be installed today over the channel near the Warner Avenue parking area, a Bolsa Chica Land Trust newsletter said. The new bridge will make it possible to walk to the Bolsa Chica Mesa without having to walk along Warner.
The dangerous access and a looming deadline prompted the Bolsa Chica Land Trust to launch a campaign in May 2007 to raise $75,000 to help complete a footbridge to connect the visitors' center parking lot with the northern end of the reserve's upper wetlands and mesa. The goal was eventually met by donors.
The metal, single-span bridge over the Outer Bolsa Bay will have minimal effect on the marsh, officials say. It cost more than $400,000 with funds from the state, Hearthside Homes and the Land Trust, which lobbied for years for the bridge.
The cost is high, officials have said, because of special features meant to address environmental concerns.
The state had to jump a few more hurdles, such as getting California Coastal Commission approval, before the bridge could be built.