By Cicero A. Estrella
The views of the San Francisco Bay, the city’s skyline and the eastern span of the Bay Bridge are among the world’s most stunning, and now there’s a new angle from which they can be enjoyed.
A new shoreline park built alongside the eastern landing of the bridge features a 600-by-40- foot observation pier that boasts brand-new perspectives of the renowned vistas. The observation pier is just one of the unique features of the recently opened Judge John Sutter Regional Shoreline, the latest addition by the East Bay Regional Park District.
“The new park is a shoreline gem for the entire region,” said Dee Rosario, a park district board member. “The park provides new shoreline access, spectacular bay views, and opportunities to walk and bike on the eastern span of the Bay Bridge.”
Other park amenities include a connection to the Bay Bridge bicycle and pedestrian trail that extends 4 miles into Treasure Island; and the 24,000-square-foot Bridge Yard building, a 1930s-era, former train maintenance facility that has been renovated to host concerts, community events and public concessions.
But the most visible feature is the observation pier, which is located where eastbound drivers used to touch down on the original eastern span of the Bay Bridge. In fact, Caltrans built the pier atop six foundation piles from the old bridge, and some of the leveled span’s steel was recycled to help build the pier’s benches, tables and light stands.
“Instead of demolishing the last six piles, Caltrans repurposed them for the benefit of the whole region,” park district spokesman Dave Mason said.
The park, which totals 22.47 acres, is named after Judge John Sutter, a former East Bay Park District Director who first proposed a park at the site way back in 1967. Sutter was the president and founding member of Citizens for Regional Recreation and Parks.
The observation pier is open daily from 5 a.m.-10 p.m. Bicycle parking is available adjacent to the pier. For more information, visit ebparks.org.
Photos by East Bay Regional Park District