A sparkling, new shoreline public park near the Bay Bridge in Oakland was dedicated Wednesday, the project brought to fruition with help from the Bay Area Toll Authority (BATA)(link is external).
The Judge John Sutter Regional Shoreline(link is external) adjacent to the eastern touchdown of the Bay Bridge includes a massive 600-foot long by 40-foot wide public observation deck, built atop six remaining support piers from the original Bay Bridge East Span.
BATA contributed millions of dollars for development of the park, and the decision to retain the old bridge piers was approved by the Toll Bridge Program Oversight Committee, which completed its work last year. Former MTC and BATA Executive Director Steve Heminger served as a member of the committee throughout its 2005-19 existence.
In addition to the observation deck, a 24,000-square foot 1930s-era electric train maintenance building known as the Bridge Yard has been renovated to host large concerts, community events, and public concessions. Running the length of the park is a bicycle/pedestrian path that connects to the Bay Bridge Trail(link is external), linking the park with Yerba Buena Island. Bike parking is available adjacent to the observation pier, which is open from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Other visitor amenities include bathrooms, walking paths and interpretive panels. The park is expected to be a popular tourist destination with its sweeping views of the bay and easy access to the Bay Bridge Trail. It’s been dubbed as the “Gateway to the East Bay” due to its visibility to eastbound Bay Bridge drivers.