[LIFESTYLE] Oakland’s Lake Merritt Makeover

[LIFESTYLE] Oakland’s Lake Merritt Makeover

VIBE: With all the construction going on at the southwest end (12th Street) of Lake Merritt, I thought you might want to get caught up (or reminded) on what all the noise is about. In November 2002 (yep, 8 yrs ago!), over 80% of Oakland voters passed Measure DD, a $198.25 million bond measure. Funded projects include parks, trails, bridges, a recreation center, historic building renovations, land acquisition, and creek restoration. The 12th Street Project ($35 million) is one of six Lake Merritt projects. [History]

(1) April 5, 2011 Bridge Span Formwork and Cellular Concrete Work for New Roadway | Erik Niemann 
Click thumbnail, and then click photo for full screen enlargement. 

Current Status
Paving, drainage, and electrical work near the Courthouse is underway, and will require occasional temporary lane closures. The bridge foundations and abutments have been completed, and other retaining wall work is underway. Work along Lakeshore Ave has also begun. Once the bridge and roadway are complete in late summer 2011, the old viaduct along the Lake’s edge will be demolished, and the new park constructed. New seawalls will be extended on either side of the bridge, and the old culverts removed. Construction is scheduled to be completed late in 2012.

If you’re interested in learning more, there’s a bi-monthly meeting of the Measure DD Community Coalition at the Lakeside Park Center.
Measure DD project • Project pic blog site • Official Project Pics • Waterfront ActionLake Merritt Institute • East Bay Bike Coalition • Geese Management 

Lake Merritt Channel Projects
The Lake Merritt Channel is a narrow waterway that connects Lake Merritt with the Estuary and San Francisco Bay.

Measure DD projects along the Channel are intended to improve water flow, provide small boat passage, enhance bicycle and pedestrian access, restore wetlands, and make other Channel and shoreline improvements. Major work includes replacement of the restrictive culverts at 10th Street with a clear-spanning bridge, and construction of a gated by-pass channel around the 7th Street Flood Control Station.

The Oakland Waterfront Trail
I received the memo about Lake Merritt, but I missed the memo about the Oakland Waterfront Trail (East Bay portion) which is part of the San Franciso Bay Trail Project, a planned 400-mile network of bicycle and hiking trails that will form a continuous ring around the Bay.

Measure DD is intended to help close the gaps in a 6.6 mile portion of the trail between Jack London Square and 66th Avenue. Of the $198.25 million Measure DD bond, $53 million is allocated for property acquisition, environmental cleanup, and trail and park construction along the waterfront.