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Magical Bridge Playground

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Magical Bridge Redwood CityMagical Bridge Playground

The Magical Bridge Playground is a world-renowned concept developed first in Palo Alto and will soon debut in Redwood City. Designed to be socially inclusive for children and adults of varying physical and cognitive abilities, Magical Bridge Redwood City aims to go beyond typical playground designs, which often inadvertently overlook the growing autistic population, cognitively challenged, visually and hearing impaired, physically limited and the aging population. The Magical Bridge Foundation will collaborate with Redwood City on its second location due to its progressive parks and recreation program, financial generosity, and diverse community.

The City Council approved a partnership with the Magical Bridge Foundation to build an innovative and inclusive playground to open at Red Morton Park in late 2018.

The City will contribute $1.5 million of Capital Improvement Project funding previously allocated towards the renovation of the park and existing playground while the Foundation is working to raise an estimated $1.8 million build the playground. To learn more about the project, or to make a personal or corporate donation, visit magicalbridge.org/redwoodcity or contact jill@magicalbridge.org


Project Updates

 November 2018

The Magical Bridge Playground construction is moving forward! The community will continue to see changes in the park taking place including transforming the landscaping in the playground location. The construction plan includes removing 19 trees, adding 36 new trees, and transplanting four existing Redwood trees. Tree removal began the week of November 30, including a large Cypress tree near the park entrance. All of the trees planned for removal are in fair to poor condition and removed for the community’s safety. The trees within the work area that will be transplanted will line the new pathway and enlarge the existing Redwood grove near Valota Road.

September 2018 

On July 23, Council rejected all bids for Magical Bridge Playground and authorized staff to re-advertise the project for competitive and public bidding. Bids submitted on June, 13 2018 were significantly above the estimated cost. In fact, the City received a single bidder which was indicative of the currently highly competitive boom in construction. Staff worked with SSA Landscape Architects and Magical Bridge Foundation to repackage the bid documents and reduce the base-bid cost of the project. A solicitation for a re-bid of Magical Bridge Playground was publicly advertised on August 1, 2018.

 On September 10, Council awarded the contract to the lowest, responsible bidder: Robert A. Bothman Construction of Santa Clara, California

Contractor                                                          Bid                                                    Corrected Bid

Robert A. Bothman Construction

$5,552,900.00

$5,553,436.00

Gordon N. Ball, Inc.

$5,942,905.00

$5,942,905.00

McGuire and Hester

$6,351,564,00

$6,351,750.00

Engineer’s Estimate: $5,500,000.00

The improvements in Phase 2 include selective demolition, site clearing and grubbing, grading and earthwork, irrigation work, concrete flatwork, walls and curbs, electrical work, asphalt paving, curb ramps and truncated domes, and pavement markings such as crosswalks. Also included are carefully selected play equipment, park signage, fencing and gates, signature Magical Bridge play structures and site furnishings, and highly accessible surfacing specifically poured-in–place rubber and synthetic turf. Additionally, the renovation will feature a new pre-fabricated restroom building and an interactive water feature. If funding allows, the project may also include additional play equipment and shade structure, large plantings, a new sidewalk along Valota Road, and decomposed granite pathways.

Staff anticipates authorizing construction to begin within 60 days of the award of this contract.  The westside of the park and a portion of the parking area will necessarily be closed during the renovation and are expected to re-open for public use approximately 300 days from start of construction, weather permitting.

An early November 2018 start date is anticipated.

 July 2018 

In response to questions from the community, the City of Redwood City and Magical Bridge Foundation teams would like to provide a status update on the construction of the Magical Bridge Playground at Red Morton Park.

In 2016, the City Council approved a partnership with the Magical Bridge Foundation to build an innovative and inclusive playground to open at Red Morton Park. Thank you to the community for your enthusiasm about this exciting project and it is on track to celebrate a grand opening mid-2019!  

There are three phases to the project.  Phase 1 was to underground overhead utilities, move a PG&E transformer, and add new parking spaces next to the playground (at the National Guard Armory).  The first phase of the project is complete! Recently, the City released an RFP for the construction of Magical Bridge Playground, considered Phase 2. Phase 3 is a subsequent phase that will improve sports field spectator areas such as new bleachers and shaded areas to comfortably watch field activities.

Because of concurrent projects out to bid and highly competitive environment, the City received only one bid.  The sole bidder waived all profit, management, and overhead, the cost of subcontractors and materials were well over the engineer’s original project estimate. As a result, the City Council rejected the bid. With continued assistance from the Magical Bridge Foundation, the City will re-bid the project and expects to announce a contractor in September. The City and the Magical Bridge Foundation teams will continue to collaborate to ensure this "magical" playground opens soon!

The City does not anticipate too much of a delay to the overall construction timeline and will share more updates as they become available. 

May 2018 

Phase I of the Magical Bridge Playground Project is completed.  Phase 1 included the addition of 58 new parking spaces adjacent to the future playground as well as the undergrounding of utility lines and moving a PG&E transformer.

The construction bid is currently open until June 13th.  The selection for the construction firm will be passed on proposed fee and firm’s qualifications.  The award of bid will then be recommend to City Council for approval.


April 2018 

Phase I of the Magical Bridge Playground Project is nearly complete.  Phase I included moving a large PG&E transformer out of the playground area and undergrounding the overhead utility cables, as well as expanding the parking lot adjacent to the future playground. City staff are in final review of the playground construction plans and the construction bid package will be available soon.  Construction bid will be open for 30 days and then a selection will be made based on proposed fee and the construction firm’s qualifications.  The award of the bid will be recommended to City Council for approval, and then construction can begin.  More updates will be provided as they become available.


More details about Magical Bridge Playground in Redwood City can be found here:

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