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$500M to expand Bay Bridge path
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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Officials are looking for a cheaper way to extend the Bay Bridge pedestrian path and give walkers, joggers and bikers a way to get all the way from Oakland to San Francisco.

Extending a 2-mile trail along the western span cost would cost $400 million to $500 million.

Administrators with the Bay Area Toll Authority, the regional agency that collects toll money to operate the Bay Bridge and six other state-owned spans, said the cost is too much.

Still, interest in extending the path roughly 2 miles across the western span — between Yerba Buena Island and San Francisco — has picked up since late last year, when the $6.4 billion new eastern bridge span opened along with the walking path.

An oversight committee on Wednesday will consider authorizing a $10 million engineering study to look for more affordable alternatives and options to pay for them, the Contra Costa Times reported.

Authorities said if solid alternatives emerge, the toll authority may spend millions more for a detailed design and environmental study.

The 15.5-foot-wide bridge path starts in Oakland and nearby Emeryville, heads gently up onto the bridge just past the toll plaza and runs along its south side, stopping short of Yerba Buena Island. It has one lane in each direction for bicyclists and an outside lane for walkers and has been widely used since opening more than a year ago.