SAN LORENZO -- Efforts to alleviate rain puddle problems on pathways and near bus stops along a half-mile stretch of Grant Avenue will require the removal of some trees and a slight decrease in the size of a bike path, according to Alameda County officials.
Steve Hunt, engineer in Alameda County's public works department, is designing a project to fix the problem on Grant Avenue from Via Seco to the railroad tracks by adding new storm drains, piping, curbs and rain gardens along the roadway designed to absorb rainwater runoff.
About 20 of 100 California Pepper trees planted in the area in the early 2000s with a state environmental enhancement grant will be removed as a result of the changes. About 100 new, and likely different, trees will be planted nearby, county officials said.
Construction on the project is scheduled to begin late summer and could last up to a year, depending on winter rain, Hunt told attendees of a San Lorenzo Village Homeowner's Association meeting Feb. 21.
The sidewalk and paths along the road will be made higher than the street in most areas, rather than lower like they are now, and drainage will be added to the intersections of Grant Avenue and Bockman Road, Via Nueva and Via Seco. Some rain will also be directed to rain gardens where a variety of drought resistant plants can absorb it and later sustain a lack of irrigation in the dry season, officials said.
Although traffic lanes will not be changed, the bike lane will shrink from 8 to 6 feet wide, while the combined sidewalk and runners path will increase from 5 or 6 feet wide to 10 feet, Hunt said.
Catherine Kavasch, president of the homeowner's association, said losing 2 feet from the bike lake is a concern.
"Myself and my co-workers are regular bike commuters on Grant," Kavasch said. "It looks much narrower and I don't want to be narrowed in near to buses and trucks."
Hunt said two lanes of traffic will remain open in both directions on Grant Ave. during construction. A public meeting about the project will be held sometime in May, county officials said.
Ashly McGlone covers San Leandro, San Lorenzo and the Washington Township Health Care District. Contact her at 510-293-2463. Follow her at Twitter.com/AshlyReports.