These is lots of Bay Trail news in West County to report -- and for once not all of it is in Richmond.
A 1.7-mile stretch of the former county road between Crockett and Martinez known as Carquinez Scenic Drive was fenced off this week to start a two-year project to make it safe for public use.
The road was closed to motor traffic in the 1980s because of landslide damage. The East Bay Regional Park District acquired it from the county in December 2012 after extended negotiations.
The $5.6 million construction project "will include stabilization of embankments and cut slopes with retaining walls and debris walls; installation of new and repair of existing drainage systems; and rehabilitation and construction of the old roadway to a multiuse, Class I bicycle/pedestrian trail," the district announced.
In the meantime, the scenic drive is closed to the public because of safety concerns, even during a scheduled halt of construction from October 2013 to April 2014.
"When completed, it will be one of the most scenic trails in the region, with sweeping views of the Carquinez Strait, and a way to access parkland in the Martinez, Briones, Crockett and Rodeo areas," said park district General Manager Robert E. Doyle.
Learn more about the project at www.ebparks.org/parks/carquinez.
Just over a week ago the City Council approved a $384,500 construction contract to close two gaps in the Ferry Point Loop trail in Point Richmond and create additional public shoreline access." "When completed this fall, the result will be a continuous Class I hiking and biking trail between Shipyard 3 Trail and Ferry Point," noted the Trails for Richmond Action Committee.
Another $18,000 was approved by the council to help the regional park district with a requested redesign of the planned Atlas Road bridge that will be the second entrance to Point Pinole Regional Shoreline. The redesign, recommended by the city'd design review board, calls for narrowing the vehicle lanes there in order to widen the Bay Trail by two feet. Work on the project is expected to be done by late 2014.
Richmond also accepted a $45,000 grant from the Association of Bay Area Governments and applying the funds to close a trail gap by the Richmond Plunge between Cutting Boulevard and the tunnel to Ferry Point.
Learn more about the projects and events on existing portions of the trail at www.pointrichmond.com/baytrail/.
WEST COUNTY NOTES: The next concert in the free Point Richmond Music summer series starts at 5:30 p.m. Aug. 9 with a set by energetic acoustic quartet Rusty String Express on the outdoor stage at Park Place and Washington Avenue. They will be followed to the stage at 6:45 p.m. by singer/songwriter Jenny Kerr.
In addition to the danceable music there will also be a raffle, no-host bar, face-painting
for children and dining at restaurants in the historic district.
The annual event acknowledges the accomplishments of the Career Technical Education program "that introduces low income and minority high school students to the bioscience industry."
This year the program (www.biotechpartners.org) gave 42 interns from Berkeley High and Oakland Tech experience from June through August at the facilities of 16 partners, including Aemtek Laboratories in Fremont, the Alameda County Sherriff's Office Crime Lab in San Leandro, Bayer HealthCare in Berkeley and San Francisco-Mission Bay, Berkeley Dog & Cat Hospital, Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute in Oakland, Highland Hospital in Oakland, Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) in Emeryville, Kaiser Oakland Medical Center, Libby Laboratories in Berkeley, Mango Materials in Albany, Xoma in Berkeley and four UC Berkeley Labs.
The company will give as many as five grants for each program and has earmarked a total of $1 million for the awards.
An informational meeting on the two grant programs will be held from 1 to 2 p.m. Aug. 13 at the Marina Bay Yacht Harbor, 1340 Marina Way South, Richmond. To RSVP email Andrea Bailey at email@example.com.