A major construction project on Carquinez Scenic Drive between Martinez and Crockett will soon result in for-real closure of the road to all traffic, including pedestrians.

The road has actually been closed since the 1980s, when landslides made it impassable to automobiles. Informally, walkers and bicyclists have been using it, though "No Trespassing" signs are posted. However, with the start of construction work, which will involve lots of heavy machinery, the "No Trespassing" rule will be more strictly enforced.

Carquinez Scenic Drive was originally a Contra Costa County road. East Bay Regional Park District has been negotiating with the county for about a decade to convert the drive into a section of the San Francisco Bay Trail. A trail easement was acquired from the county in December 2012.

This is a major project. One of the landslides has almost completely obliterated the road; several others have reduced it from two lanes to one.

Work will include stabilization of embankments and slopes with retaining and debris walls; repair of existing drainage systems and installation of new ones; and conversion of the roadway to a multiuse bicycle and pedestrian trail. When the new road is completed, the only motorized traffic allowed will be emergency and service vehicles.

Work on the $5.5 million project is expected to be complete and the trail opened by fall 2014. When done, the San Francisco Bay Trail of which Carquinez Scenic Drive is part, will be a continuous 500-mile recreational corridor encircling the entire bay, linking 47 cities in all nine bay counties. As of this month, 310 miles of the Bay Trail have been completed, a lot of it through East Bay Regional Parks.


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BUTTERFLIES AND BIRDS: Those colorful "flying flowers" will be the stars of the show at the 14th annual Butterfly and Bird Festival, from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Sunday at Coyote Hills Regional Park in Fremont.

Butterfly garden tours, family activities, speakers, photo presentations and music are all on the program. Learn how to create wildlife friendly habitat in your own backyard. The festival is free. Coyote Hills has a parking fee of $5 per vehicle. The park is at 8000 Patterson Ranch Road off Paseo Padre Parkway. For information, call 888-327-2757, ext. 3220.

crab cove: Free music and family-oriented activities will be the attractions at Concert at the Cove, scheduled June 14 at Crab Cove Visitor Center in Alameda.

Visitor center activities start on the deck at 4:30 p.m. The concert is from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. featuring Fleetwood Mask, a tribute band playing Fleetwood Mac songs. You can bring a blanket or lawn chair and a picnic dinner, or purchase food and beverages on site.

The center is at 1252 McKay Ave. off Central Avenue in Alameda. Parking is available on Webster Street or in the Crown Beach lot at Otis and Shore Line drives. The concerts are sponsored by the Alameda Rotary Club and the park district. For details, call 888-327-2757, ext. 3187.

TAKE THE KIDS: Hikes for Tykes is a series of easy, naturalist-led, one-mile excursions designed for small children accompanied by a parent. Strollers aren't recommended, as trails can be uneven. Bring a snack for your child.

There's a Tyke Hike from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Tuesday at Roberts Regional Recreation Area in Oakland. The park is on Skyline Boulevard about a mile up the hill from the intersection with Joaquin Miller Road. Meet in the lower parking lot. For details, call 510-544-3187.

jewel lake wildlife: Sunday will be busy at Tilden Nature Area in Berkeley.

From 10 to 11:30 a.m. naturalist Trent Pearce will be at Jewel Lake with a spotting scope, so visitors can get a close look at the wildlife there. Meet him at the lakeside bench, on the Wildcat Creek Trail about a quarter-mile down the road from the Environmental Education Center.

From 1 to 2:30 p.m., interpretive student aide Morgan Rani Evans will conduct a clinic on how to make your own backpacking food and trail snacks. The group will create lightweight, nutritious snacks and sample a few.

Trent will be back from 2:30 to 4 p.m., leading an easy hike from the center to identify some of the native and exotic trees that grow in the nature area. All three activities are free of charge. The center is at the north end of Tilden's Central Park Drive. For details, call 510-544-2233.

Ned MacKay writes about East Bay Regional Park District sites and activities. Email him at nedmackay@comcast.net.