With additional funding approved July 2 by the East Bay Regional Park District Board, 82,600 cubic yards of sand will be pumped onto Crown Memorial State Beach and Alameda Beach between September and November this year. The project will restore the beach and dune system to its 1987 footprint, at a cost of nearly $5.3 million, and will protect the shoreline of this popular recreational beach.
“During this project, the public will be able to access the beach safely across sand fill or ramps over the pipeline, with certain areas restricted as the work progresses from one end of the beach to the other,” said Park District Chief of Design and Construction Diane Althoff.
This project will furnish, deliver by barge, place and grade imported beach sand in phases along 7,000 to 8,000 feet of the state- and city-owned beaches. Work will be conducted on weekdays only, and pumping sand from barges will minimize truck traffic in the area.
“This is a real boon to the people of Alameda, the users of Crown Beach, and to the region,” said East Bay Regional Park District General Manager Robert Doyle. “But with bigger storms and sea level rise in the future, we cannot afford to protect Crown Beach without additional partners. The Park District had to use emergency reserves to fund the project."
“The engineered beach and dune system has performed well beyond its projected 20-year life cycle. The State Department of Parks and Recreation, City of Alameda, the Regional Park District and regulatory agencies all agreed that constructing and maintaining a sand beach would provide both the needed erosion protection and desired public access to the shoreline,” Doyle said.
Crown Beach is an artificial beach that has no natural source of sand replenishment such as deposition from a creek or river. So annual beach maintenance requires collecting sand transported along the shore by wave action to either end of the beach and moving it back to the nodal point at Westline Drive and Shoreline Drive. There is approximately one percent offshore loss of sand each year, as predicted by the design model and verified over time by survey. In rare instances there has been a significant offshore loss of sand from a major storm event, as occurred in 1998 and 2005-2006, Althoff said.
Replacement of the sand is funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) up to $725,000; grants from the State Department of Boating and Waterways (DBAW); and Dubai Star oil spill mitigation funds.
Bids for the project came in above the engineer’s estimate by approximately $2.6 million. The Board appropriated an additional $3 million in funds from Measure AA and unassigned General Fund balance to cover total construction costs and meet the short critical path timeline made necessary by tight permit constraints and a very limited construction window.