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State grant to help fund bridge at Mission Trails Regional Park

Posted at 12:27 PM, Jul 22, 2021

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- More funding was announced Thursday as the push continues to build a bridge in Mission Trails Regional Park following the death of a 21-year-old San Diego man earlier this year.

The state allocated a $1.5 million grant for a pedestrian and bicycle bridge that will honor Max Lenail, who died while trying to cross the San Diego River at the park in late January.

Lenail’s parents believe he attempted to cross the river but likely slipped and drowned.

Lenail’s parents, who were at the park Thursday for the grant announcement, described their son as a great person who loved the arts and the environment, and was also invested in his education.

“In this terrible tragedy, we have been embraced so much by this community and so many people and so many friends, that it has made it tolerable. Today is a day to celebrate all the goodness that’s come out of it,” said Lenail’s mother, Laurie Yoder.

Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins was able to help secure the funding for the park crossing.

According to Lenail’s father, the initial costs of the bridge were estimated at $2.1 million. With the grant and donations of more than $700,000, the Mission Trails Regional Park Foundation has about $2.3 million set aside for the project.

Local leaders and Lenail’s parents believe that with the new funds granted by the state, a bridge in his honor will be completed within the next 2-3 years.