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The San Diego City Council approved building a second road to connect the north and south ends of University City after a six-hour debate last night.

The council voted 6-2 in favor of linking the two stretches of Regents Road with a bridge that would cross Rose Canyon. Adding a second thoroughfare to supplement Genesee Avenue’s capacity was touted by bridge proponents as a way to decrease congestion and improve the Fire Department’s response times.

Critics of the project told the council that a bridge would destroy the canyon’s habitat.

You can read more about the controversy within the neighborhood here.

The $36 million bridge will be paid for with developer fees that have accumulated in the University City planning area. Another $4 million in developer fees was set aside for habitat restoration and trail improvements in the canyon, but the City Attorney’s Office advised council members that they will have to revote on that allocation at a later time.

Council President Scott Peters and Councilmen Kevin Faulconer, Tony Young, Brian Maienschein, Jim Madaffer and Ben Hueso voted for the bridge. Councilwoman Toni Atkins and Donna Frye vote against it.

Construction is slated to start in 2008.

EVAN McLAUGHLIN

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