Sierra Club Battles 49ers Over Proposed Bridge

By Matt Baume
|  Wednesday, Sep 29, 2010  |  Updated 5:20 PM PDT
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Sierra Club Battles 49ers Over Proposed Bridge

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SAN FRANCISCO - DECEMBER 14: A San Francisco 49ers helmet sits on the field prior to their game against the Arizona Cardinals at Candlestick Park on December 14, 2009 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

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It looked like environmentalists and developers might've called a truce in the battle over a bridge near Candlestick Park. Not so fast, says the Sierra Club, which has filed suit to stop construction.

At issue is Yosemite Slough, a wetland that's been used and abused by San Franciscans since the City was first settled. An extremely sensitive ecological area, the Slough has served as a dump and a toxic wasteland for years. Now, attempts are underway to clean it up and develop the land. But that's caused a standoff between those concerned with the environment and those concerned with making money.

The Sierra Club's lawsuit accuses the City of not taking seriously the risk that the bridge could pose. In addition to blocking light and disrupting the flow of water, it could create a deadly obstacle for at-risk birds just learning to fly.

So who wants the bridge? Lennar Corporation, which is overseeing the Bayview/Hunter's Point redevelopment. And the 49ers, which claim that they need the bridge in order to get fans to and from games. Of course, there are plenty of other roads in the area, as well as the Third Street light rail line.

Local businesses want the bridge, too. And Mayor Gavin Newsom's top economic adviser has endorsed its construction.

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