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Posted on Sat, Dec. 31, 2005

Cash puts Richmond trail on right track

By John Geluardi
CONTRA COSTA TIMES

The Bay Trail in Richmond will get another infusion of cash next year that will go toward completing a one-mile gap that runs between a sanitary landfill and a wastewater pool.

While some may not think it's the most charming section of Richmond's beautiful north shoreline, it will move the city that much closer to completing its 41 miles of scenic Bay Trail.

East Bay Regional Park District board members added $350,000 to the proposed 2005-06 budget earlier this month. About $200,000 will go toward design and environmental studies for the one-mile section of the trail that will connect the Wildcat Creek Trail with the West Contra Costa Sanitary Landfill. That portion of the trail will cross a levee on the west edge of a West County Wastewater pool. The cost to close the one-mile gap is estimated at $800,000

The remaining $150,000 will go to planning and design of uncompleted trail sections near Point Pinole Regional Shoreline. The Richmond Bay Trail is part of the 400-mile San Francisco Bay Trail project. The trail will ultimately encircle the San Francisco and San Pablo bays and connect all nine Bay Area counties. To date, about 240 miles of the trail have been completed.

The funding is good news to Bruce Beyaert, chairman of the Trails for Richmond Action Committee, a nonprofit group formed six years ago to expedite the completion of Richmond Bay Trail.

"There is finally some movement toward completing the northern portions of the Bay Trail where there is great open space, expansive views over San Pablo Bay and great shorebirds," said Beyaert

In Richmond, 24 miles of the Bay Trail has either been completed or is under construction.

The Bay Trail in Richmond is almost entirely complete along Richmond's southern waterfront that runs from Miller/Knox Shoreline Park to Point Isabel Regional Shoreline. That part of the trail offers numerous World War II sculpture exhibits in the Rosie the Riveter World War II/Home Front National Historical Park, Lucretia Edwards Park and the Shimada Friendship Park.

"Richmond has such an incredibly scenic shoreline with great historical exhibits that tell the story of the Kaiser shipyards," Beyaert said. "The beauty of the Bay Trail is that it gives everybody the opportunity to exercise and recreate in the truest sense of the word. It's a great escape from the stresses of urban life." Contact John Geluardi at 510-262-2787 or at jgeluardi@cctimes.com.

© 2005 ContraCostaTimes.com and wire service sources. All Rights Reserved. http://www.contracostatimes.com