International Partnering Institute Recognizes I-580/I-80 Central Ave. Operational Improvements Project

Each year the International Partnering Institute honors project teams and individuals who follow the IPI model and have exhibited the highest levels of collaboration. Ghirardelli was notified that our work on the I-80 / Central Avenue Operational Improvements Project Phase I for the Contra Costa Transportation Authority was nominated and has won the 2019 International Partnering Institute’s (IPI’s) Partnered Project of the Year Award and was honored with the Ruby Level Award.  The award was presented on Friday, May 17th at the Hilton San Francisco Airport Bayfront in Burlingame.

Location: Richmond, CA
Owner:  Contra Costa Transportation Authority
Prime Contractor: Ghilotti Bros., Inc.
Designer:  WSP
Construction Manager:  Ghirardelli Associates
Facilitator:  OrgMetrics LLC
Project Description:
The I-80 Central Ave. Operational Improvements Project was a complex signalization and traffic operation scope located between the I-80 and I-580 freeways in Richmond CA. Central Avenue is a main thoroughfare connecting downtown El Cerrito through the City of Richmond to the I-80 Freeway. During peak traffic hours, more than 3,000 vehicles per day use Central Avenue to access the freeway, causing excessive traffic cues and regular 15-minute delays. The project relieves congestion caused by cars getting stuck at a traffic light leaving downtown El Cerrito. This project scope took over ten years to plan, design and construct and represents the first of two phases to relieve traffic congestion in this area.

Oakland Army Base Infrastructure Project

Ghirardelli provided Construction Inspection Services to the City of Oakland for the Oakland Army Base infrastructure/reconstruction project. We worked closely with Kennedy and Associates, the designated City Engineer’s representative for the project.
The project was the first phase in converting 300 acres of the Army’s old 1,800 acre Oakland logistics facility to civilian use as a multimodal seaport logistics complex for the Port of Oakland, with the partial intent “to shift traffic from trucks to trains on site and thereby reduce truck trips through cities within Alameda County to the Central Valley which will help to improve air quality, neighborhood and roadway safety” (quote from City of Oakland website).
The effective date on our contract for this work was October 23, 2013, with a projected completion date of May 1, 2019.
The work included:

  • Deconstruction and demolition of existing army warehouses and other structures
  • Removal and replacement of existing electrical, communications, storm drain and sanitary sewer utilities with:
    • Lift stations
    • Outfalls in the tidal zone
    • Storm sewers and drain inlets
  • New and rebuilt streets, sidewalks and bike paths
  • Compaction in preparation for the Phase II structural foundations using:
    • Surcharge Compaction, and
    • Deep Dynamic Compaction
  • Landscaping and irrigation
  • Street lighting and traffic signals.

Client: City and Port of Oakland
Location: Oakland, CA

Diamond Springs Parkway Phase 1A State Route 49 Realignment


Ghirardelli was selected by the County of El Dorado to provide construction management services for Diamond Springs Parkway Phase 1A  State-Route 49 Realignment project in Diamond Springs. Diamond Springs Parkway is a future four-lane divided roadway connecting Missouri Flat Road to State Route 49 (SR-49).  The primary purpose of this project is to improve traffic safety and operations on portions of SR-49 in the vicinity of Diamond Springs.  The new road will provide parallel connection from SR-49 to US-50 that will relieve traffic congestion through the historic town of Diamond Springs.  The project will also improve safety on Diamond Road/SR-49 by reducing residential driveway access with the provision of a new frontage road.
SR-49 / Diamond Road will be realigned to the west to create a frontage road for residences along the east. The realigned road will be improved with two (2) 12-foot and 8-foot shoulders. Other project improvements include:

  • Roadway excavation
  • HMA paving
  • Concrete curb, gutter, sidewalk
  • Signing and striping
  • Caltrans Type 1 retaining wall with architectural treatment
  • Masonry block sound wall
  • Permanent and temporary fence removal and construction
  • New El Dorado Irrigation District water main
  • Utility modification including AT&T, PG&E, and Comcast
  • Drainage improvements (underdrains, culverts, ditches)
  • Sewer improvements
  • Signal and lighting improvements

Client: County of El Dorado
Location: Diamond Springs, CA

City of West Sacramento, Grand Gateway and Washington District Infrastructure Project Dedication

The City of West Sacramento saw the completion and dedication of the Grand Gateway and Washington District Infrastructure Project in West Sacramento on March 19th. This ambitious and necessary infrastructure project is part of the City’s initiative to inspire growth, improve building and increase permits, attract investors, support walkable, green, and affordable housing, and further the connectivity of travelers on either side of the river. The upgrades have been in progress since 2015 as part of a state-funded program backed by Congresswoman Doris Matsui.
A unique feature of this project is its incorporation of art and poetry into the design to beautify public
spaces while improving public works. The crowd gathered to celebrate the dedication and had a chance to ride JUMP bikes along the project site to the final destination on E street. There they were able to hear and see a poem written and presented by former Sacramento poet laureate and Sacramento City College English Professor Jeff Knorr. The dedication ceremony included presentations by various representatives of the project development team from the City of West Sacramento, including Mayor Christopher Cabaldon, who called the project “A grand entrance to our City and our future.”
Ghirardelli Associate Thanh Dickerson was a vital part of the project’s construction management and delivery.
Project highlights include:

  • Upgrades to 2,000 feet of water, 6,000 feet of sewer, 3,200 feet of storm drain lines along with significant transportation improvements.
  • The cleanup of the Grand Gateway site at 815 West Capitol Ave. and extension of 7th Street to Tower Bridge Gateway, added a new signalized intersection.
  • A multi-modal transit station, 2.5 miles of enhanced bicycle lanes, 50 streetlights and 43,000 square feet of widened sidewalk.

West Sac

Exide Residential Cleanup Project Management Services

Ghirardelli was awarded a two-year contract with a one-year option to extend with the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) to support the Exide Division (Project Team) during implementation of the Removal Action Plan.
DTSC is implementing a Cleanup Plan focused on sensitive use properties within a Preliminary Investigation Area (PIA), which is the area within the 1.7-mile radius of the former facility. The Cleanup Plan includes, among other related removal action activities, excavation of lead contaminated soil from approximately 2,500 sensitive use properties in the PIA. DTSC selects properties for cleanup by using previously collected soil sample results to determine whether a sampled property meets the prioritization criteria set forth in the Cleanup Plan. DTSC has retained National Engineering and Consulting Group (NEC) to conduct work at 415 properties, and Parsons Environment and Infrastructure Group (Parsons) will conduct work at 1,610 properties.
Ghirardelli will consult with the Exide Project Team to develop management systems and strategies for tracking cleanup work progress (including contaminated soil excavation and disposal, property restoration, and compliance with applicable plans, policies, and other requirements); and will assist the Exide Project Team with day to day oversight and review of NEC and Parsons’ deliverables to help ensure success in DTSC’s implementation of its Cleanup Plan and Mitigation Monitoring and Reporting Program.

Client: California Department of Toxic Substances Control
Location: Vernon, CA

American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) Engineering Excellence Award

On February 7, 2019, Ghirardelli attended the ACEC California’s 3rd Annual Scholarship Foundation Fundraising Dinner, presenting the ACEC California Engineering Excellence Awards (EEA). This event was held at the Union Square Hilton in San Francisco, and brought the Scholarship Foundation and EEA together to celebrate the achievements of the Engineering and Surveying industries, while supporting students and strengthening the future of engineering. These awards affirm the fundamental role that ACEC California member firms play in building and maintaining the quality of our infrastructure.
Ghirardelli won an Honor Award for the eBART to Antioch – East Contra Costa Extension. The project extended tracks ten miles east in the median of State Route 4, added two new stations, a parking lot, a train maintenance and operations facility, providing much needed congestion relief on this busy commuter route. Randy Bruner, Kelsey Ballesteros, and Raewyn Butcher were in attendance and accepted the award on behalf of the company.

San Francisco Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA) Richmond Ferry Terminal Grand Opening

Courtesy of Mike Aldax, Richmond Standard
The excitement on the Richmond waterfront on January 10th was palpable, as hundreds gathered to celebrate the launch of the brand new ferry service to downtown San Francisco.
The first ferry left at 6:10 a.m. from the new $20 million terminal located next to The Craneway Pavilion at 1414 Harbour Way South. The ferry continued on to the San Francisco Ferry Building, a roughly 35-minute trip that was depicted in a flurry of photographs and video posted to social media. Richmond Mayor Tom Butt, credited as one of the ferry terminal’s champions, filmed what he called a smooth ride on a beautiful morning.
“This is the first time in 61 years that we have sustainable ferry service back in Richmond,” Contra Costa County Supervisor John Gioia said. “It’s really a great day.”
To start, San Francisco Bay Ferry Service is making four runs from Richmond to San Francisco during morning commute hours, and four runs from San Francisco to Richmond in the evening commute hours. High demand could expand service in the future, officials said.
The ferries are launching from a terminal that features a new ADAcompliant gangway and ramping system, passenger shelter, 362 spaces of free parking and a new ADAcompliant kayak launch ramp.
Elected officials lauded the ferry as one of many solutions needed to address excessive traffic along the Interstate Highway 80 corridor.
Assembly member Buffy Wicks said it recently took her 90 minutes during rush hour to drive from South Berkeley to Hercules.
“When people are out on the water, they are not on Interstate 80,” Wicks said. “We need an all-the-above approach when it comes to our transportation needs.”
The ferry terminal project was funded through various sources, including state Proposition 1B, U.S. Department of Transportation funds, and $12 million in Regional Measure 2 bridge toll revenue. Operating costs for the next 10 years will come from both fare revenue as well as Contra Costa County Measure J funds.
So far, reviews of the new ferry service have been positive. Cesar Zepeda, president of the Hilltop District Neighborhood Council, called his ride clean, safe, and relaxing. Others echoed Mayor Butt’s sentiment, saying their ferry trip provided a front row seat to a stunning sunrise.

I-80 / Central Avenue Operational Improvements Phase 1

Ghirardelli Associates was selected by CCTA to provide construction management services for this project which improves the traffic operations at the I-80/Central Avenue interchange and along Central Avenue between Rydin Road and San Pablo Avenue. The project will be completed in two phases. Phase 1 redirects left turns from westbound (WB) Central Avenue onto I-80 WB to the adjacent I-580 eastbound onramp at Rydin Road during weekend peak hours; and installs traffic signals at the I-580 ramps. The project also included installing 17 new ADA curb ramps along Central Avenue between Highways 80 and 580.

Ghirardelli Associates staff inspected the signalization of two 4-way stop intersection, the installation of four new variable message signs and overhead sign structure, the removal and replacement of 17 new ADA compliant curb ramps and the removal and installation of 100-feet of new barrier rail over the Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR) and Highway 580. We monitored compliance with the contract plans and specifications, as well as recorded and reported all construction activities and maintained reports in a project file. We maintained construction diaries that included documentation of the work progress, materials tested, and any other pertinent information in a daily diary for permanent record of events.
Photographs of project progress were taken on a regular basis and kept for permanent records to verify quality for acceptance.

The project also processed a million-dollar change order to remove and replace 3,000 tons of asphalt concrete along Central Avenue between Pierce Street and the I-580 overcrossing.
This project included many different inspection disciplines including, structures, civil, and electrical and required coordination with multiple different entities including, Contra Costa Transportation Authority, City of Richmond, Caltrans, East Bay Municipal Utility District, AT&T, UPRR, Stege Sanitation, and PG&E. The project staff, especially our field inspector, work very hard to make this project a success for both Ghirardelli Associates and our client.

Client: Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA)
Location: Richmond, CA

Toll Booth Removal Phase 1


In 2014, TCA converted all the toll collection facilities along State Routes 73, 133, 241, and 261 from a cash/electronic toll collection to strictly electronic toll collection through a project called All-Electronic Tolling (AET). After AET was completed, TCA determined additional toll booth removals were needed where dual-lane ramps were encountered.
Work included removal of the toll booths, concrete barriers, and related equipment (including reconstruction of pavement), as well as restriping and re-signing, as required, to bring the roadway configuration to a standard condition.
The project comprised 13 total locations – 11 of them weekend closures. Originally the two non-weekend closures were to be performed at the end of the project, however, Ghirardelli recommended doing these two locations first, of which TCA approved, for they were not tied to the restrictive time constraints. Because the scope of work for the two locations was very similar to the weekend closures, we were able to monitor and refine the multiple activities of the work on an hourly basis to determine the best method to be used for the weekend closures.
The result was all 11-weekend ramp closure work were completed and reopened to traffic (on average) ~4 hours before time constraint limit. The project was delivered as promised to the public on time and the Contractor avoided heavy financial penalties.
Client: Transportation Corridor Agencies (TCA)
Location: Orange County, CA