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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Post Project Appraisal of Cerrito Creek at El Cerrito Plaza


This paper presents a Post Project Appraisal (PPA) of the Cerrito Creek Restoration Project at El Cerrito Plaza in El Cerrito, CA. In 2003, a three-block day-lighted section of Cerrito Creek (approximately 700 feet in length) located between Talbot and Kains Streets was restored. This stretch of creek is bordered on the north by the Plaza parking lot and on the south by residential units (mainly apartment buildings), which greatly limits the size on the project. Urbanization on both sides reduced the creek to nothing a narrow, deep ravine, but after the neighboring shopping center agreed to retract their parking lot by 20 ft, the City of El Cerrito was able to begin the restoration. Using the project design drawings, interviews with community members, and data collected during site visits we evaluated the project. Our team created a detailed reach map, took cross-sections at various points of interest throughout the channel and conducted a pebble count of the major gravel bar. We compared the reach map with the design drawings to determine changes in vegetation, rock weirs, and boulder locations. In addition, we compared cross-sections to see how the shape of the channel and steepness of slopes changed over time. There was some possibility that several rock weirs have been removed by the flow, since we could not locate them where they were shown on the design drawings. However, since as-built conditions were not recorded, these weirs may not have been built. Overall, we determined the project to be a success, and more importantly, we hope that the data collected can be used as post-project baseline data for future analysis of this channel.

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