The fences are now in place, and a 1.7-mile section of Carquinez Scenic Drive between Martinez and Port Costa is closed during a two-year, $5.6 million reconstruction project.

Actually, that section of road has been closed officially since the 1980s, because landslide damage made it unsafe to traverse. However, hikers and bicyclists have been using it informally anyway. But now the closure will be more strictly enforced.

Carquinez Scenic Drive was a Contra Costa County road. The East Bay Regional Park District acquired a trail easement from the county last December. Using a variety of federal, state, county and park district funding sources, the road will be converted to a top-notch bicycle and pedestrian trail. It will be closed to autos except for service and emergency vehicles.

Work will include stabilizing embankments, installing drainage systems and rehabilitation of the old road surface. The completed trail will become part of the 500-mile San Francisco Bay Trail, which will eventually encircle the entire bay. So far, 310 miles of the Bay Trail have been developed, much of it in the East Bay Regional Parks. Reopening is expected in the fall of 2014.

WEDNESDAY WALKERS: As long as we're talking hiking the heights, consider joining the park district's Wednesday Walkers at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday for a moderate 5-miler between Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve and Huckleberry Botanic Regional Preserve in the Oakland hills.


Advertisement

Though not long, the hike is steep in places. Meet at the Sibley parking lot, which is on Skyline Boulevard just south of the intersection with Grizzly Peak Boulevard in Oakland. For information, call 510-544-3282 or email cgarcia@ebparks.org.

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