Rancho Murieta Association, Country Club and Community Services District officials announced Tuesday that the bridge connecting the North and South will open Thursday to pedestrian, golf cart and bicycle traffic.
The Country Club has agreed to provide an alternative access for golf carts on the South until a trail is in place through the Riverview subdivision. Grading work is expected to begin on the Riverview trail next week.
The fence is coming down and the new bridge will be opened this week, officials said Tuesday.
"This has been a moving target," said RMA President Jack Cooper. "It's just been in the last couple days that all this has fallen together.”
“The community needs to be very mindful of the fact that their boards worked hard to get the deal done properly,” said Country Club President Vince Lepera during the meeting and press conference with the general managers and the board presidents at the RMA Building.
"What most people don't realize is there were other agencies outside these three who played a very, very critical role in this, including governmental and private organizations, who we’ve had to deal with," said RMA General Manager David Stiffler. “It’s not nearly as simplistic as a lot of people attempted to make it.”
“The negotiations right from the beginning of this project have been long and drawn-out, mostly because there were so many hoops we had to jump through to get it accomplished,” said CSD President Wayne Kuntz.
Stiffler said he delivered the final version of the Riverview easement agreement to developer Reynen & Bardis Tuesday morning and “all it requires is their review and signature. Once that happens, we will sign it here, get it recorded, and away we go.”
Stiffler said the county has issued a temporary certificate of occupancy good for 30 days. During that period of time, the county will put together the documentation needed for the permanent certification.
Another complication to opening the bridge has been addressed by the CSD, Stiffler said. The bridge owner had to provide a notice of acceptance for the bridge before it could be opened, he said, and the CSD, the owner, has provided the notice to the RMA.
Cooper said the rocks that were placed in front of the entrances to the bridge a week ago, in anticipation of opening it only to pedestrians, will be removed Wednesday.
“On Thursday morning, the gates will come down and the bridge will be open,” Cooper said. “What’s important here is we couldn’t have done that without the Country Club’s permission, allowing non-members to use the easement between the first hole and the second tee.” He also acknowledged the CSD’s cooperation in providing the alternative route.
“Temporarily, they will still have access between one and two that they’ve had access to for years,” Lepera of the bridge approach on the South. “We just ask them to be mindful of their surroundings because there are golfers.”
“The grading through Riverview will begin next Monday, so we’re off and running,” said Cooper.
Once the grading is completed, the South access will be through Riverview.
Cooper said the three organizations plan to throw a party to celebrate the opening of the bridge next month. “We want to encourage everybody to show up and walk across the bridge together,” Cooper said.