The East Bay Regional Park District board on Tuesday unanimously approved a $740,200 contract to a Richmond consulting firm for the design and planning of a Bay Trail segment along 2.5 miles of spectacular North Bay waterfront.
Nichols Consulting Engineers will design, oversee permits and support construction of a new stretch of the San Francisco Bay Trail from the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge to Pt. Molate Beach Park. The trail – made possible in part by a donation from Chevron - will connect the proposed Richmond-San Rafael Bridge bike path to Pt. Molate, and will ultimately be part of a continuous path from Pt. San Pablo to Eastshore State Park.
“This is wonderful news not just for Richmond, but for everyone in the Bay Area who likes to bike, hike or enjoy the shoreline,” said Board President Whitney Dotson, whose ward includes Richmond. “We think this will be a great addition to the San Francisco Bay waterfront.”
The path will be built along easements the Park District donated by Chevron and along the City of Richmond’s Point Molate Depot property. About half the segment will be overseen by the Park District and the other half will be managed by the City of Richmond. The Nichols design plan will cover both portions.
Pt. Molate has a storied history and is among the most beautiful stretches of the Bay waterfront, with views of Mt. Tamalpais, the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge and San Pablo Bay. It’s been the site of a whaling station, a Navy fuel depot and a winery so large it constituted a small town (Winehaven). More recently, it was the site of a proposed casino resort.
The Park District estimates that the construction cost for the 2.5 miles of Bay Trail will be $5 million, to be paid by the Park District and City. The estimated completion date is 2017.
The East Bay Regional Park District is a system of beautiful public parks and trails in Alameda and Contra Costa counties east of San Francisco Bay, established in 1934. The system comprises 119,000 acres in 65 parks including over 1,250 miles of trails for hiking, biking, horseback riding and nature learning.