A long-planned bike and pedestrian trail through Petaluma took another big step forward Thursday as a 142-foot arched steel bridge was maneuvered into place to span the Petaluma River.
The bridge, whose style mimics that of Balshaw Bridge over the Turning Basin downtown, plays a major role in connecting Petaluma's west side with the crosstown Lynch Creek Trail.
Midday Thursday, three 150-tall cranes hoisted the bridge in two equal sections over the river and into place on the already completed abutments along the riverbanks.
Crane operators cautiously maneuvered the segments over a large city sewer pipeline and a bank of AT&T electrical conduits that also span the river.
Called Copeland Crossing, the bridge at the north end of Water Street was the top priority for Petaluma Water Ways, a group of nonprofit and public agencies, property owners and individual volunteers working to increase recreational access to the river.