Oakland 12th Street Reconstruction, Lake Merritt Channel and Shoreline Enhancement

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Oakland, California’s Lake Merritt is a former tidal lagoon that has been largely cut off from San Francisco Bay by urban development. For the last 150 years, Lake Merritt has endured damming, inundation with sewage, and even plans to fill it with dirt to prop up causeways and roads. With the passage of a local bond, the City undertook a $32 million project to resurrect parts of the shoreline with open space and parks, creating a local destination; transform a high-speed commute route into a calmer scenic boulevard; and restore the natural tidal connection between Lake Merritt and the bay.

ESA contributed to a project design that supported the City’s long-term vision for improved tidal circulation and connection, prioritizing habitat enhancements, recreational resources, and flood control. Our science-based analysis--from channel flow modeling to wind wave analysis--supported a successful multi-benefit project design. Our team also designed a restored tidal marsh and stormwater treatment basins, and assisted in public presentations, permitting, and regulatory compliance.

ESA was integral to creating a lasting natural solution for one of the most important urban design projects undertaken by the City of Oakland.

This project was awarded the American Public Works Association Northern California Chapter 2014 Project of the Year for Transportation Projects $25-$75 million and was nominated as a top three finalist for the Local Street Project of the Year 2013 by the California Transportation Foundation.

Specialized Services

  • Construction observation and support
  • Engineering design and construction documents
  • Habitat restoration and enhancement
  • Hydrodynamic modeling
  • Modeling and analysis
  • Multi-objective flood management
  • Tidal wetlands and marsh restoration
  • Wetland restoration