San Pablo parking lot construction deemed ‘essential’

San Pablo parking lot construction deemed 'essential'
Parking lot construction at 2023 Vale Road in San Pablo, adjacent to the Lifelong Medical Care facility. (Photo credit: Mike Kinney)

By Mike Kinney and Kathy Chouteau

Parking lot construction on Vale Road in San Pablo — part of a $6.2 million project to restore a 2,200 foot linear stretch of Wildcat Creek between Vale Road and Church Lane — was ongoing Wednesday despite a strict shelter-in-place order banning most construction activity.

That’s because the project adjacent to a Lifelong Medical Care facility was deemed “necessary to make the existing project site safe and secure,” San Pablo City Manager Matt Rodriguez said.

“Given the potential for ill and frail patients using this facility, it was deemed that the most appropriate approach to secure the site is to complete the paving to minimize tripping and falling hazards for these patrons,” Rodriguez said. “Hence, the need to complete the parking lot construction only.”

However, the rest of the Wildcat Creek Restoration and Trail Project does not qualify as essential during the shelter-in-place period lasting through May 3. Construction of the trail will be “substantially delayed until further notice,” Rodriguez said.

“The City is in contact with our contractor and will ensure all social distancing requirements are followed pursuant to previous CCCHS Orders issued on March 16 and March 31, 2020,” Rodriguez added.

Highlights of the Wildcat Creek Restoration and Trail Project include the creation of fish refuge areas, an improved floodplain to accommodate larger flow volumes, an enlarged creek corridor, the re-introduction of native plants along the creek’s bank and a cyclist and pedestrian pathway, per the City of San Pablo’s website.

The creek restoration project has come to fruition through a consortium of funding sources that include the City of San Pablo, State Coastal Conservancy (SCC), Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA), East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD) and the California Natural Resources Agency (CNRA).  

City of San Pablo Assistant Engineer Ronalyn Nonato; Restoration Design Group (RDG); Park Engineering Inc.; and Ghilotti Construction Co. Inc. make up the project team.

For more info about the Wildcat Creek Restoration & Greenway Trail, click here.