Parking lot fix approved by board

Measure A funds stabilize project

By Cody McFarland, Associate Editor

Construction on the project to stabilize and reopen a currently unused student parking lot of 41 spaces is set to begin as early as November.

After a sinkhole formed in the center of Lot 16, located above the Art Building, two years ago, leaving its surface cracked and buckled, the exclusively student parking lot was fenced off to prevent bodily injury and property damage, Buildings and Grounds Manager Bruce King said.

Now, with approval from the district Governing Board, Contra Costa College is moving forward to stabilize Lot 16 and pre-emptively do the same for neighboring Lot 17, which has thus far remained open and minimally affected by erosion.

Though the construction contract is set for completion on Feb. 6, 2015, King said the project might take slightly longer than expected, depending on the weather.

“Everything should be done by the first quarter (of the calendar year) if we’re lucky,” King said. “There may be some setbacks due to weather. Things get dicey for construction around the rainy season.”
Following the approval of the Governing Board at its Oct. 8 meeting, Engineering Soil Repairs, Inc. was awarded the contract for construction with a bid of $406,885.

Including the initial planning and design, testing and inspection, as well as other contingent costs, the total budget for the entire project is $729,379.

Funding for the project comes from the Measure A 2006 bond and Measure E 2014 bond, District Chief Facilities Planner Ray Pyle said.

The scope of work for Engineering Soil Repairs, Inc., according to minutes from the Oct. 8 board meeting, is to “provide labor, materials and equipment as required to remove vegetation and to install plate piles at both parking lots 16 and 17 to stabilize the hillside below each parking lot.”

Plate piles are non-displacement steel sections that can be driven into almost all soil types to stabilize downslope forces and provide resistance, thus preventing an otherwise eroding hillside from sliding downward.

In a facilities meeting on Oct. 16, Ron Johnson, project manager from Critical Solutions, Inc., said that fabrication of the plate piles takes about one month, so the actual construction would not begin until November at the earliest.

King said it is not unlikely that the construction will be pushed back until the first week of December. The construction contract for the resurfacing of both lots has yet to be determined as well.
Johnson said, “The resurfacing of parking Lot 16 is still in the design phase” with Oakley & Oakley Engineering out of Oakland.

King said, “Students should be able to take advantage of that parking by March, if not earlier. Parking really has become a premium here.”

Those 41 parking spaces returning to students will be welcomed.

Graphic design major Mike Lopez said he would definitely use the reopened lot, as it is the closest parking lot to his classes in the Art Building.

“Half of my classes are going to be in (the Art) Building next semester anyway, so it will be nice to have something closer,” Lopez said.

Though the additional spaces may come as late as March, Lopez said he has had little issue with parking on campus otherwise and that reopening Lot 16 would make his parking situation simpler.
“Better late than never,” he said. “At least it’s getting done.”

The construction for the Hillside Stabilization Project includes Lot 17, but the entirety of spaces in that lot is not going to disappear.

King said, “We’re not going to lose 17 entirely. It’s likely they will close a section at a time to do the work. If weather permits, it will take a week to 10 days for (the stabilization of) both hills.”
Both parking lots are north of the Art Building and are accessible from Campus Drive at the top of campus.