Tony Bizjak | The Sacramento Bee

A new pedestrian bridge over nine railroad tracks will offer a shortcut between Sacramento City College and Sacramento’s Curtis Park neighborhood. It will be built off-site, transported next to the tracks and installed via crane.MANNY CRISOSTOMO/MCRISOSTOMO@SACBEE.COM

How do you build a bridge over nine rows of railroad tracks where trains are rolling through day and night? That is the puzzle the city of Sacramento faced as it contemplated construction, possibly starting this winter, of a $6 million pedestrian and bike bridge over the Union Pacific and Sacramento Regional Transit tracks in Curtis Park.

The arched steel bridge will allow students, commuters and others a shortcut between Sacramento City College and the Curtis Park neighborhood, including the Curtis Park Village development now under construction in the former railyard just east of the tracks. The answer, following several rounds of discussions among the city, UP and RT, is simple but will involve aerial acrobatics.

The city’s bridge contractor will build the 174-foot span at an off-site plant and transport it in several pieces to the site, where it will be assembled next to the tracks, then lifted by a crane and gingerly set onto its foundations.

“That will be a sight to see, the weekend we do that,” city project manager Ofelia Avalos said. “It’s going to be very challenging. There is a risk factor, but we decided this is the best way to build that thing.” Construction and installation will take place over about 13 months, Avalos said. The end result will be an arched bridge that evokes the railyard’s history. Read more