The Missing Link in Alameda County’s Major Regional Trail
The Martin Luther King (MLK) Jr. Regional Shoreline Park in the City of Oakland, lies within The East Bay Regional Parks District’s (District) system of 73 parks, serving Alameda and Contra Costa counties. The San Francisco Bay Trail (Bay Trail), running through the park is used recreationally and as an alternate means of commuting. The Bay Trail is one of three “major regional trails” to be completed in Alameda County. Doolittle Drive separates North Field at Oakland International Airport from the MLK Regional Shoreline. The Doolittle portion of The Bay Trail is discontinuous due to the difficulty in constructing a trail through a tightly constrained corridor adjacent to a state highway, an environmentally sensitive shoreline area, and an intensely urbanized airport industrial complex. The project site is located within a portion of the MLK Regional Shoreline, beginning from the south end of the MLK Shoreline Center at the existing boat launch and extending south approximately 4,000 feet to Swan Way.
Also, along the trail, an 850-foot length of the shoreline between the boat launch and pump house is eroding from a lack of shoreline protection. The erosion has come within 5 feet of the existing Bay Trail and if left untreated, will threaten the integrity of the trail, especially in light of the planned trail widening. Because of existing conditions, the District proposed to fill the gap in the Bay Trail and make improvements within the existing MLK Jr. Regional Shoreline park to protect and conserve resources, and to improve recreational use.
A New Trail, Park Improvements, and a New Boat Launch
The multi-faceted project includes many elements that require coordination with multiple agencies to meet the project goals, including providing safe bicycle and pedestrian access within the park, closing a gap in the larger Bay Trail, replacing the existing boat launch, and providing shoreline protection and wetland mitigation. Because the project is adjacent to a State Highway, some of the project’s right of way falls under Caltrans jurisdiction requiring adherence to Caltrans construction guidelines in those areas.
The Project constructed approximately 2,300 linear feet of a new trail section of the Bay Trail to close the existing gap and resurfaced and/or widened approximately 1,600 feet of the existing Bay Trail to the north and south of the gap segment. The existing two-lane boat launch was also replaced along with 1,450 linear feet of rip rap installed for shoreline protection, parking lot improvements constructed, and 2.5 acres of pickleweed marsh constructed as mitigation for bay fill from the project.
Construction Management for a Multi-faceted Project
The project required extensive grading/earthwork, including in-water work; partial demolition of the existing road; widening and rehabilitation of the existing road; construction of a new trail; paving; drainage; guardrail installation; shoreline protection installation; signal and electrical work; signing and striping; planting; irrigation; seeding and erosion control; boat ramp demolition; and boat ramp replacement.
Ghirardelli Associates (Ghirardelli) provided construction management and inspection services for this project. Specifically, our construction manager performed contract administration including tracking progress and completion schedule. They also worked with the contractor to resolve field issues, negotiated and issued contract change orders and provided quality assurance for work performed and materials used. Finally, they reviewed and processed monthly progress pay estimates based on the work completed.
Now complete, the project increased transportation connectivity along the Bay Trail, connecting residents to shoreline recreation and jobs at the airport and industrial complex. The gap closure also completed an inter-jurisdictional trails network, including the Bay Trail spine, which was a priority improvement in the Alameda Countywide Bicycle Plan and Alameda Countywide Pedestrian Plan.