A beautiful view from Carquinez Scenic Drive, overlooking the Carquinez Strait Photo credit: renedrivers
Next fall, Central and West Contra Costa County will be better connected for travel by foot and bicycle as the East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD) will complete work on converting 1.7 mile of the neglected, and outdated, Carquinez Scenic Drive country road, between Martinez and Port Costa, into the latest scenic addition to the regional San Francisco Bay Trail. This portion of Carquinez Scenic Drive has already been closed to motor vehicles for decades and is currently used informally for recreational jogging and hiking, however the EBRPD will be making improvements over the next year to ensure the trail is structurally safe and sound.
Converting less than two miles of old road into a bike and pedestrian path will take over a year because as reported by the Contra Costa Times, the task is not as straightforward as it may seem. The Contra Costa Times reports:
During a recent tour of the trail west of Martinez, only about three feet of the road clung to the hillside in one spot. Not much more of the road remains in some other areas.
To develop the trail, contractors will rebuild hill sections and protect them against slides by driving tall pilings into the ground in nine locations and pouring concrete around them.
The Carquinez Scenic Drive is falling apart and eroding, requiring extensive excavation to make the trail safe for the next several decades and as a consequence the trail will be fenced off for the work preventing the current informal use.
When the trail is restored, Bay Trail users will have a smooth 10-foot wide path with shoulders on each side to safely enjoy. The projected year of completion is 2014, which will mark the 100th anniversary of Carquinez Scenic Drive, originally built in 1914. What better way to celebrate the value of the old road by giving it new life as one of the most beautiful additions to the San Francisco Bay Trail?
For additional details, head over to Contra Costa Times.