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A Coastal Trail pedestrian and bicycle crossing over Pilarcitos Creek will remain closed at least through the end of this week after a portion of the bridge failed on Friday afternoon.

California State Parks Sector Superintendent Paul Keel says the steel bridge has been in poor condition for some time, and State Parks has been making small fixes to it over the last couple years. The bridge sits between Venice Beach and Francis State Beach along the California Coastal Trail.

“We knew we needed to do an interim fix to keep it going, but it failed a little earlier than we hoped (so) we had to close it,” Keel said.

While an engineer will take a closer look at the structure sometime this week, Keel said it looks like something beneath the tread moved downward, causing boards in part of the bridge to pull away from the frame by a few inches.

Keel added that State Parks wants to provide a temporary fix so the bridge can be reopened as soon as possible, but that it would likely replace the crossing altogether once the funds are in place. The agency is looking into how much replacing the bridge would cost, but it depends on a variety of factors such as materials, size and width.

“We want to get something out there that’s not going to rust out in 30 years,” Keel said.

In the meantime, the bridge will remain closed until an interim fix is made.

“Hopefully, we can do some kind of interim repair,” Keel said. “We understand the heavy use of the bridge and that path. We will do the best we can to get it up and running again.”

Pedestrians and bicyclists heading northbound can take Kelly Avenue east to Pilarcitos Avenue, then north to Strawflower Village to the Naomi Patridge Trail. Take the trail to either Wave Avenue or Venice Boulevard back to the Coastal Trail northbound.

Southbound bicyclists and pedestrians can take Venice Boulevard or Wave Avenue east to the Naomi Patridge Trail. Head towards Strawflower Village and take Pilarcitos Avenue south to Kelly Avenue westbound back to the Coastal Trail.

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