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Creek restoration a top priority as erosion worsens

By Maggie Sharpe, Staff writer
About 75 percent of the design is done to fix serious erosion problems at two locations in Rossmoor: the creek bank along Creekside pickleball courts and a deep hole on the embankment adjacent to Tice Creek Drive, near Buckeye Grove parking lot.

The design is being drafted by BKF Engineers in Walnut Creek.

Erosion is visible on the bank along Tice Creek Drive adjacent to Buckeye Grove and the tennis courts parking lot. (News photo by Clayton Clark)

“Once the design is complete, we will submit it to the city of Walnut Creek, State Department of Fish and Game, and various other regulatory agencies for permitting,” said Clayton Clark, GRF’s Building Maintenance manager. “Our timeframe is to have the design finished and the project out for bid by June 2019.”

Clark added that Fish and Game are part of the oversight to monitor fish and wildlife and ensure repairs are environmentally sound.

The GRF Board is making restoration of the two areas a No. 1 priority in its planning for 2019 capital improvements.

“This is a borderline emergency,” Paul Donner, director of Mutual Operations, told the board at its Feb. 28 meeting. “It’s got a lot worse with all the rain we’ve had.”

GRF staff estimates it will cost about $1 million to shore up the eroded areas.

“We plan to bid out the job and have the work completed by Oct. 1, 2019, before the next rainy season,” said Clark. “Fish and Game requires that the repairs be done by Oct. 1 as workers and equipment have to be out of the creek by that date due to safety and environmental concerns going into the rainy season.”

He said the BFK Engineers’ design plan at Buckeye calls for an extension of the caged rock wall that is already there. At Creekside pickleball courts, where erosion is visible on the bank, right under the surface of the court, BFK is recommending building a support wall with some large rocks, as well.

“We will let the pickleball players know when construction is going to start and finish, as they won’t be able to play on the Creekside courts while work is going on,” said Clark, adding that it could take about two weeks.

Clark won’t know until the contractor is hired if the work on the two areas will be done consecutively or simultaneously.

“I think Buckeye is a slightly higher priority,” said Clark, adding that if repairs weren’t done, eventually people wouldn’t be able to walk on the sidewalk or drive on the street. “It’s a slow process, but it’s getting worse as time goes on, especially after this very rainy season – which is why we have put caution tape up.”