The Bike Bridge is located in the City of Alameda, which is located in Alameda County California. It connects the Main Island of Alameda to the Harbor Bay (Bay Farm) section of Alameda. It spans the inlet to the San Leandro Bay from the San Francisco Bay. See Map
Cal Trans and the City of Alameda. Many items on the bridge are still under warranty and are repaired by the contractors.
*Note: All Vessels use the Highway Bridge for clearance purposes. Even though your vessel may pass through the Bike Bridge it may not clear the Highway Bridge.
Construction on the Bike Bridge began in 1993 and was completed in 1995. It cost about 3.5 million dollars. While we don't have absolute proof we believe it's the only Bike/Pedestrian draw bridge in the United States. No powered vehicles are allowed on the Bike Bridge except powered wheelchairs or maintenance vehicles. The Speed Limit for Bikes is 20 mph.
While it's linked to the Bay Farm Island Highway Bridge it's a completely separate bridge and it can operate independently from the Highway Bridge. The Bike Bridge was designed to operated in conjunction with the Highway Bridge, so whenever the Highway Bridge is operated the Bike Bridge also responds. The Bike Bridge can also operate in manual mode which allows the Bridge to operate independently from the Highway Bridge. This mode is used mainly for testing and repair work.
The Bike Bridge differs in how it's employed The other draw bridges use gearboxes and gears to operate. The Bike Bridge uses a electrical hydraulic system to move the span. Two huge side by side hydraulic pistons raise and lower the bridge. The hydraulic system is powered by two 50 hp motors. A 150 gallon tank holds and supplies the hydraulic oil used in the bridge operation.
The hydraulic system is controlled by a sophisticated electrical system of limit, pressure, and flow switches. There are no brakes on the Bike Bridge. The switches control the flow of oil and pressure which then control the speed of the bridge span. The Bike Bridge is smooth and quite while operating.
A small bridge links to two bridges together this gives the operators and maintenance crews access to the Bike Bridge machinery. The Bay Farm Island Bridge contains the operating console for the Bay Farm Island Bike Bridge so the operator must run two bridges for each vessel opening.
Since it's opening the Bike Bridge has suffered many closure's. Most of the closures are attributed to vandalism and the stealing of safety equipment. There is a nagging problem with the gates that are being worked out by trail and error. Once the bugs are worked out of the bridge it should be a reliable drawbridge.