HALF MOON BAY -- Voters may decide the fate of this coastal community's historic Main Street Bridge in the June election.

Faced with a prospective ballot measure from citizens who oppose the city's plan to tear down and replace the century-old bridge, the City Council may put forth a competing measure and let residents choose.

Bridge preservationists last week submitted language for a proposed ballot measure to protect the structure, which provides the primary access to downtown Half Moon Bay from state Highway 92. The measure would require the council to put any decision to demolish the dilapidated bridge up for a citywide vote.

The proposal is backed by many merchants who fear that replacing, rather than repairing, the bridge will deter customers from visiting downtown.

The council will decide March 4 whether to simply place the save-the-bridge group's measure on the June ballot, allowing the preservationists to forgo a signature-gathering campaign. The council will also consider putting its own measure on the ballot that would allow the city to pursue its preferred plan.

At a meeting Wednesday night, Councilwoman Naomi Patridge said providing dueling measures would address complaints from residents who say the council has ignored them.

"They keep saying we didn't listen, we didn't listen," Patridge said. "Well, you know what? Maybe this is a way we say, 'OK, we're listening. We're going to put it on the June ballot, and let's see how it comes out.'"


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Contact Aaron Kinney at 650-348-4357 or akinney@bayareanewsgroup.com. Follow him at Twitter.com/kinneytimes.