What makes it interesting?
Over its life span of 150 years, Lake Merritt had moved further and further away from its natural habitat. Many people assume that the lake is man-made, however Lake Merritt is actually a natural tidal slough connected to the bay by a channel that over history has been continuously filled in as construction projects enveloped the area due to Oakland’s growth and the need for new roadways and interstates. In some sections the channel was completely buried with water passing between the lake and estuary through an underground box culvert, which has remained that way for the past 100 years.
How HCSS Software assisted with this project
McGuire and Hester utilizes HeavyBid, HeavyJob, and The Dispatcher on all of our projects. We find it to be the most comprehensive solution to our project needs, especially a project that was as complex as the 12th Street reconstruction project.
A signature project for McGuire and Hester is the 12th Street Reconstruction Projectthat required a renovation of Lake Merritt in Oakland, CA. The 12th Street Project was part of Measure DD — the Oakland Trust for Clean Water and Safe Parks. The purpose of the $198 million bond was to fund a variety of projects related to clean water and parks. The 12th Street Project accounted for $32 million of the bond and is the most extensive piece of the restoration.
Construction began with the reconfiguration of the previous 12-lane expressway into a six-lane, tree-lined boulevard with signalized intersections and crosswalks as well as a landscaped median. The new roadway was constructed further away from the shoreline to allow for the creation of a new 4-acre park with a waterfront at the south end of Lake Merritt. The lake itself received a facelift with new pedestrian and bike paths and open-water bridges running over what were culverts at 12th Street and 10th Street (renovation at 10th Street is a separate project). All pre-existing unsafe and unsightly pedestrian tunnels have been removed and traffic has been routed onto the new bridge over what will soon be the open channel to the estuary, altogether providing Oakland residents and visitors with safer pedestrian and cyclist access along the perimeter of the lake.
The project also included re-establishing a section of open channel and removing the buried culvert at the interface with the lake. This open canal is the first phase of what will eventually allow travel by kayak from the lake to the Oakland Estuary, once the 10th Street and other related projects are complete.
The open channel will also increase tidal flushing of the lake. Tidal flushing is the action of saltwater entering an estuary twice a day during the high tides. It renews the salinity and nutrients to the estuary. This means a cleaner water quality in Lake Merritt and improved habitat for fish and wildlife.
Overall the 12th Street Reconstruction Project is a very significant improvement for the environment as well as for the City of Oakland.