A Bridge for Max
Laurie and I are extremely grateful for your interest in our campaign to build a pedestrian and bicycle bridge for the San Diego River Crossing at Mission Trails Regional Park where our son Max, 21, was found dead by drowning on January 30, 2021.
We want to honor his memory by advocating for, and helping to fund the construction of a pedestrian footbridge for the San Diego River Crossing. We want to ensure the safety of “people like Max”, fellow hikers, runners, cyclists, and first-time visitors alike – as no one else should ever die at this perilous crossing. We see no better way to use our energy, networks, and treasure than to improve the park for the benefit of all users for decades to come.
We partnered with The San Diego Foundation to launch the Max Lenail Memorial Bridge Fund on Max’s 22nd birthday, March 26, 2021. The fund is accepting tax-deductible donations, which are exclusively earmarked for the construction of the pedestrian bridge.
The Max LeNail Memorial Bridge project was unanimously approved by the Park Task Force, chaired by Councilmember Raul Campillo, on May 20. The project received a $1.5 million grant from the State of California on July 22, made possible by President of the California State Senate Toni Atkins.
Please donate to the Max Lenail Memorial Bridge Fund and contact us with your thoughts and comments. Thank you so much for your interest in this effort.
Ben Lenail (Max’s Dad).
Recent News & Articles
Recent news and articles about the effort to build Max’s Bridge
Their son drowned while jogging in a California park. Now they are trying to build a bridge.
Family to launch fund to build a pedestrian bridge at San Diego river crossing commemorating death of son
— Raul Campillo, Councilmember, District 7, City of San Diego
"I applaud the action taken tonight by the Mission Trails Regional Park Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC). The CAC recommended the advancement of the wishes of the Lenail family to build a pedestrian and bicycle bridge at the River Crossing, so long as that is permissible under the Mission Trails Regional Park (MTRP) Master Plan. I am excited to vote to advance this plan when MTRP Task Force takes it up later this month, and I encourage my fellow Task Force members to join me in supporting it."
— Randy Voepel, Assemblymember, California 71st District
“It is important that we make the park as safe as possible every opportunity we have. A pedestrian bridge in Max's memory is one significant way we can ensure the park is safe and accessible for all. Let's not miss an opportunity to save lives and improve a national treasure.”
— Brian W Jones, Senator, California 38th District
“I commend the LeNail family for channeling the emotions of such a tragic experience into a force for positive change for our community. I truly hope that the construction of a footbridge at this crossing will prevent such tragic accidents like this from occurring again in the future. For these reasons, I am proud to support the construction of a pedestrian footbridge at the San Diego River Crossing in the memory of Max LeNail.”
— Scott H. Peters, Member of Congress, 52nd District
“I support the LeNail and Yoler Family’s efforts to advocate for a pedestrian bridge at the park. I urge the Mission Trails Regional Park Citizen’s Advisory Committee and Task Force to initiate the process of creating a pedestrian bridge at the San Diego River Crossing Trail in Max’s memory as soon as possible.”
— Brian Maienschein, Assemblymember, California 77th District
“A pedestrian bridge, as envisioned by the LeNail Family and the MTRP Master Plan, at the San Diego River Crossing Trail would be a fitting tribute to Max and help protect future guests. I urge you to move forward with the process of creating a pedestrian bridge at the San Diego River Crossing in Max LeNail’s memory with a design that is budget conscious and can be implemented quickly.”
— Nathan Fletcher, Chair, San Diego County Board of Supervisors
“I am inspired by the efforts of Max's family and friends to advocate and fundraise for creating a pedestrian bridge at the park. As a father and an outdoor enthusiast, I stand in full support of their effort to honor Max.”
— Jim Madaffer, Former Councilmember, Past Chair of MTRP Task Force
"I commend the LeNail Family for working tirelessly to advocate and fundraise for this pedestrian bridge in Max's memory. Now is the time to move the ball forward on creating a safe pedestrian crossing that has long been planned"
— Ann Van Leer, Executive Director, Escondido Creek Conservancy
“A pedestrian bridge would offer safe passage, far better access, and an improved Park experience for visitors of all experience and capacity levels. On behalf of The Escondido Creek Conservancy, I urge you to move forward with the creation of a pedestrian bridge at the San Diego River Crossing.”
— Barry M Jantz, former La Mesa Councilmember, former MTRP Task Force Member
“During my tenure on the Task Force and as identified in the park’s Master Plan, the danger of the San Diego River Crossing and need for a pedestrian bridge has long been recognized. I ask that you initiate the creation of a pedestrian bridge in Max's memory at the San Diego River Crossing and consider the shortest timeline and the most cost-efficient design options for the bridge”