San Pablo Avenue Green Stormwater Spine

Water Quality Improvement

The San Pablo Avenue Green Stormwater Spine is a pilot project and model for Bay Area municipalities implementing “green” infrastructure projects as part of their stormwater management efforts. The Spine Project will design, build, and monitor an array of low impact development (LID) projects distributed along 12.5 miles of San Pablo Avenue, a major thoroughfare passing through a number of East Bay cities.

Check out the Contra Costa Times article on the project!


Beyond the installation of these innovative site-specific projects, the goals of this project are to:

  • Help quantify the Bay Area cost and benefits of LID retrofits in the right-of-way
  • Educate the public and local governmental decision makers about green infrastructure
  • Demonstrate sustainability practices by using Bay-Friendly Landscape Guidelines
  • Provide local public works agencies with hands-on opportunities to learn best management practices for green infrastructure

Project Components & Estimated Timeline
This is a multi-year project with numerous components and partners. Each partnering city selected the project site location (see map above) within its jurisdiction. The Design Team, led by Wilsey-Ham, prepared construction documents based on schematic layouts reviewed and approved by city staff. Harris & Associates will provide Construction Management services during implementation. Gates & Associates is assessing the designs, construction process, and maintenance plans to score the sustainable practices of each site using Bay-Friendly Landscape Guidelines.
The San Francisco Estuary Institute will lead the scientific monitoring program to measure the project’s pollution removal and hydrologic benefits at a subset of sites. Project funding provides for a 2-year plant establishment period (to maintain plantings, remove weeks, and ensure adequate irrigation), after which the cities will take on the long-term maintenance of their respective sites. SFEP is leading the project’s outreach elements, which includes creation of model municipal ordinance language for Bay Area cities to consider adopting when planning future street improvements.
Designs Complete May 2016
Construction June - December 2016
Monitoring Post-Construction
Outreach On-Going
Project Completion Winter 2017
This webpage is updated as needed to include upcoming project-related announcements; as well as links to invitations to bid or submit statements of qualifications for professional or construction services for competitive selection.
Announcement: Construction Bid Packages advertised on May 09, 2016. Bids due on June 02, 2016 by 5pm.
Package A - Emeryville 
Package B - All other sites
In the tabs below you will find past presentations, meeting notes, and other project-related materials.
Related Resources
The Spine Project follows SFEP's successful El Cerrito Rain Gardens Project, which was constructed in 2010 (also located on San Pablo Avenue). To learn more about Green Streets and Green infrastructure, click on these informational materials: Green Streets Primer, Green Streets/Resilient Watersheds, and summary of the Serramonte Library Rain Gardens. Additionally, SFEP has developed several video podcasts on the subject of Green Streets and Infrastructure information, which are available on our media page.