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Final report on Belvedere's seismic-upgrade project addresses wildlife, sound, lagoon concerns

Updated: Dec 7, 2023

The Belvedere City Council next week is expected to certify the final environmental impact report for its stalled $20 million seismic-upgrade project, which will help create a “shovel ready” plan once funding is secured.

The 182-page report, released Nov. 17, incorporates public and stakeholder feedback on the October 2022 draft to further reduce potential impacts to wildlife, water and soils in the Belvedere Lagoon, among other measures. However, some of residents’ largest concerns, such as the vibrational impact of driving sheet piles into the roads on existing structures, won’t be known without further reports or until after construction begins.

The seismic project aims to drive sheet piles into 80-year-old arterial roads San Rafael Avenue and Beach Road to protect underlying utility lines and to ensure they remain passable to residents and first responders in a major disaster, such as an earthquake.

The city had been hoping to start the project as early as this year, but it was thrown a curveball in November 2022 when voters rejected the 0.8% real-estate transfer tax to fund it, along with the charter-city transition required to levy the tax.

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