Renovated Bridge in Moraga Improves Safety and Efficiency

View of the opening ceremony for the renovated canyon bridge on January 20.

Brandon Hayes

View of the opening ceremony for the renovated canyon bridge on January 20.

Moraga celebrated the opening of the new permanent Canyon Bridge on January 20. The bridge serves as a place for cars, bikes, and pedestrians to cross. However, due to a mudslide 6 years ago, the bridge has been a 1-lane temporary bridge, making it hard for Joaquin Moraga Intermediate School students to walk to school, and bikers and hikers to access trails. It also created increased traffic in the area.

Town Manager Cynthia Battenberg gave a speech during the celebration, speaking on the struggles of construction over the years due to COVID and supply delays. Battenberg said, “There were many hurdles and challenges, including navigating environmental constraints, securing grant funding, and construction and supply delays due to COVID. Moraga is the little engine that could, but truth be told, we couldn’t have done it alone.”

This bridge is a huge change to the Canyon area of Moraga, and is helping residents as well as the town as a whole. Junior Maddie Maestre, a resident of the area, said, “It helps the constant traffic we used to have in our area. I think that it’s crazy that after years of the last bridge they finally finished the new one. It has been…years.”

The construction of the permanent bridge started in 2016 and finished in 2022, totaling 6 years for construction. Now, the constant traffic stream through the Canyon neighborhood of Moraga has been eliminated, as this bridge no longer backs up like it used to, which is a big help to commuters as well as residents.

Parent Stephanie Williams, who lives in the area, said, “I think it’s wonderful the bridge is finally finished. It definitely makes things much easier for people who use the bridge and it is so nice to not have to look at construction anymore in our neighborhood.”

Maestre said, “I also know people that use the bridge to get to nice hikes in both Lafayette and Moraga. This allows for a better experience for those people and a more efficient way to get across now that there is a walking lane.”

Williams added, “This reopening allows for another safe exit route incase of evacuation. This makes the Rheem area feel so much safer.”

Before the reopening of the bridge, there were only a few evacuation routes out of Moraga, creating a danger due to the large population of the town. The bridge now allows for an additional route, which is vital for Moraga residents’ safety. This bridge not only allows for efficiency, but also safety in the Rheem neighborhood. After 6 years of construction, residents can finally feel secure with this newly renovated 2-lane bridge.