An old-looking wood bridge that runs alongside McClellan Road in Cupertino, which will be reconstructed to improve safety for hikers along Stevens Creek Trail.
Rep. Ro Khanna has secured $850,000 to help Cupertino rebuild a nearly 100-year-old bridge and potentially raise McClellan Road to create an underpass for hikers. Photo by Annalise Freimarck.

One of the West Valley’s most beloved trails is set to bridge a gap in its infrastructure, thanks to a boost from federal funding.

Silicon Valley Rep. Ro Khanna has secured $850,000 to make Cupertino’s McClellan Road — a vital east-west connector in the city — safer and more accessible to pedestrians. In addition to reconstructing a nearly 100-year-old bridge parallel to McClellan Road which people cross to reach Stevens Creek Trail, the funding could help the city raise the road. This redesign could create a safe underpass for hikers and cyclists and prevent flooding.

Walk-Bike Cupertino, an organization that advocates for increased safety for pedestrians and bikers, has been pushing the city to create an underpass for trail enthusiasts. Chair Seema Lindskog has driven and walked that stretch of McClellan Road and said the curve of the street is dangerous for people crossing, especially for people who choose to jaywalk rather than walk roughly 50 feet to the crosswalk.

“If you’re a senior or you’re a family with small children, it’s a little bit nerve-wracking to cross when you don’t have very good visibility like that,” she told San José Spotlight.

The project has secured roughly $5.85 million, including $5 million from Assemblymember Evan Low in 2022. Cupertino needs roughly $8 million to fund the project and it aims to secure the rest through additional state and federal grants.

Khanna said the funding is a win for the city and the community at large.

“Improvements to this nearly 100-year-old bridge are long overdue,” Khanna told San José Spotlight. “This investment will improve infrastructure that is critical for our community and emergency response.”

Getting from Stevens Creek Trail to Linda Vista Trail is treacherous for trail-goers, who have to cross McClellan Road. The crosswalk sits on a curve in the road, creating visibility and pedestrian safety concerns. McClellan Road connects Stevens Creek Trail — which runs through Cupertino, Los Altos, Sunnyvale and Mountain View — to the Linda Vista Trail.

Lindskog said the project is not just about safety, but also creating a fully connected, end-to-end Stevens Creek Trail from the bay to the hills.

“This is kind of a once in a 100-year opportunity because we have this bridge that’s being redone and if we do it right, we are creating a connection that will be used by generations,” she said. “We have one chance to get this right.”

Cupertino is in the engineering stages, and if all goes well, construction could start in the next few years.

The project adds to the city’s goal to increase road safety. Cupertino is still devising a Vision Zero action plan, which aims to reduce and eventually eliminate traffic fatalities and injuries. In January, the city received more than $425,600 to improve Bollinger Road, one of its busiest traffic arteries.

The funds come from a string of 15 federally funded, community-based projects Khanna pushed for, including $4.1 million for the Silicon Valley African American Culture Center.

Cupertino Mayor Sheila Mohan said the city is grateful for the bump in federal funding.

“It’s not just a project, it’s an investment in our community’s safety, prosperity and future,” she told San José Spotlight.

Contact Annalise Freimarck at [email protected] or follow @annalise_ellen on X, formerly known as Twitter.

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