By Kelly Ryan

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – The closure of a local bridge for repairs has some Sacramento cyclists frustrated.

The project will close the Jiboom Street Bridge at Discovery Park, causing hundreds of cyclists who use the bridge daily to change their routine. The bridge will close down on January 2 and re-open on May 31. While the county has suggested other routes, cyclists say they’re not viable options.

There’s no argument from those who regularly use the Jibboom Street Bridge over the American River that it badly needs repairs. This is the only direct legal crossing for people on bikes and walking between Natomas and downtown Sacramento.

Local bicycle advocates estimate during weekday evening commutes an average of 300 cyclists cross the bridge, which was built in 1934. The county suggested two other routes, but many are calling them inadequate.

“The next nearest crossing is the Blue Diamond Bridge, two miles upstream, or the 8th Street and Guy West bridges in the Sac State area — about 7 miles upstream,” said a cycling advocate. For a commuter traveling between downtown and South Natomas, that’s either an additional 4 to 14 miles — one way.

“It underscores the lack of bridges and connectivity as our city grows north of 100,000 people, which is 20 percent of our population now living north of the American River,” said Councilman Steve Hansen.

Councilman Hansen says in 2013 the city did a study to identify new potential crossings, but those projects need funding which just isn’t there.

“This is not only a wake-up call. This reminds us that much work is left undone,” said Hansen.

Councilman Hansen is hopeful that recent gas tax monies might be used to add new connections across the river, but that’s just not certain.

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