Illinois Street Intermodal Bridge Project

Status Update

July 10, 2002


Project Location


The project site is located in an area known as the Southern Waterfront, which extends generally from Mariposa Street to India Basin, and is home to most of the Port’s cargo and ship repair operations.  The proposed Illinois Street Intermodal Bridge will be constructed across Islais Creek, extending from Illinois Street on the north side of the Creek, one block east of the existing Levon Hagoop Nishkian drawbridge on Third Street.  The Bridge will connect the Port’s northern container terminal (Pier 80) on the northern bank of Islais Creek with the southern container terminals (Pier 90-92, Pier 94-96, and Backlands) located on the southern bank of the creek.





Project Overview


The Illinois Street Bridge will be an intermodal bridge that allows combined freight rail and truck/auto traffic.  The traffic lanes also will be open for use by bicyclists. The bridge will include a fully movable span that will maintain access to the west end of Islais Creek for commercial vessels and larger recreational boats in the open position, yet allow for smaller recreational boats (e.g., kayaks, canoes, etc.) to navigate beneath it in the closed position.  The vertical clearance of the Illinois Street Bridge will be the same as for the Nishkian Third Street Bridge.


The bridge will improve rail and truck access for cargo transport between the Port’s northern and southern terminals and reduce industrial traffic from Port activities on Third Street, particularly truck trips that otherwise are projected to congest the intersection of Third Street and Cargo Way. The development of MUNI light rail transit on Third Street will eliminate one traffic lane in each direction, which will reduce vehicle capacity along Third Street.  Construction of the Bridge will create a second crossing of Islais Creek that will help relieve industrial transportation demand that otherwise would continue to use Third Street.





Design specifications of the project are described below.



·       Intermodal (Rail or Truck/Auto alternately)

·       Freight rail tracks centered on two 14-foot wide traffic lanes

·       Bicycle access in the traffic lanes

·       The Bridge will span the water approximately 500 feet

·       The movable span, when open, would be open 65-feet wide with unobstructed vertical clearance

·       4 feet 4 inch vertical clearance underneath the Bridge from mean higher high water (same as Nishkian bridge on Third Street)

·       Bridge design would be simple, industrial style



·       Rail to connect the existing rail track on Illinois Street (north side) to the Port’s Intermodal Cargo Transfer Facility (ICTF) rail (on the south side)

·       Direct rail connection to Pier 80 from the bridge


Road Work

·       Paving of Illinois Street between Cesar Chavez and Marin Street, with dedicated bike lanes

·       Regrading and paving of Illinois Street, between Marin Street and Islais Creek

·       New roadway connecting the bridge to the intersection of Amador Street and Cargo Way

·       New intersection with signalization at Amador / Cargo Way and the extension of Illinois Street

·       New signalization at  Marin / Illinois Street intersection


Pedestrian Improvements

·       10’ sidewalk (south bound) along Illinois Street between the Creek and Marin Street

·       10’ sidewalks (north and south bound)  along Illinois Street, between Marin and Cesar Chavez Streets

·       New ADA-upgraded access from Illinois Street (north of Islais Creek) to Tulare Park

·       New ADA-compliant foot path from Marin/Illinois Street intersection to northern bank of Islais Creek, site of the proposed Muwekma Ohlone Sanctuary


Current Status


The preliminary design study and pre-project site work has been completed.  Currently, the Port is completing the 30% design and technical specification for the new roadways and the bridge approaches, and the design criteria and performance specifications for the movable span of the bridge.  This 30% design and technical specifications will be incorporated into a Request for Proposals (RFP) from design/build contractors (i.e., qualified contractors that can produce and engineer 100% design plans and specifications for the bridge, as well as construct it).  The RFP will include design criteria and performance specifications for the moveable mid-span segment of the Bridge, but the actual design of the moveable span will be produced by the design/build contractors that respond to the RFP.  The Port also continues to secure permits for the construction work.




The process for selecting a qualified contractor for a design/build RFP is significantly different than the typical process for selecting either a design firm or a construction contractor.  Under the typical process, one contractor would first prepare the design drawings.  These design drawings would then be incorporated into an RFP and for the purpose of finding a qualified contractor to build the design (a separate contractor).  For this project, we will be looking to find the best and most qualified team comprised of one or many separate contractors that, as a team, can prepare the design drawings and then construct the bridge.


The process envisioned will be to first advertise the RFP.  The Port will review the qualification of all of the design/build teams that respond to determine whether they are technically qualified to perform the work and evaluate their concepts for the movable segment of the Bridge.  The Port will then continue discussion only with a smaller set of qualified teams with technically feasible bridge concepts.  The qualified teams will develop their bridge concepts into a more detailed design (30% level) for further consideration by the Port (a.k.a. pre-qualifying the design).  Once the pre-qualified designs are completed, the Port will be requesting that each team bid (or provided an estimate) for their design.  The Port will then contract with the lowest bidder.


A summary schedule of key milestones for this process is shown in the following table.  Anticipated dates for creating the 100% design plans and specifications and for implementing the design (i.e., construction) are also shown.






Preliminary Design Study



Pre-Project Site Work



Prepare 30% Design & Technical Specifications (opportunity for SWAC review of designs)



Advertise the RFP



Pre-Qualify Designs (opportunity for SWAC review of movable span concept)



Solicit and Evaluate Bids



Award Design/Build Contract



Notice to Proceed



Prepare Contractor Designs 100% Plans



Construct Bridge and Road Work Improvements