Foothill has been formally closed at the Verona Bridge for weeks since the New Year’s Eve storm wreaked havoc with the rampaging Arroyo de la Laguna.
The arroyo, which our home backs up to, ate bank in many places as the flow soared to more than 12,500 cubic-feet-second. North of us, it went over the bridge that connects holes No. 3 and No. 4 on the Castlewood Country Club’s Valley course. Debris still liter the bridge that is closed and now slated for replacement. I understood from one person that it may need to be 10 feet higher than the existing structure that replaced another bridge within the last 20 years, if memory serves.
That leaves the golfers playing a 16-hole course with No. 3 that plays between the arroyo and Foothill Road as a short par 4 and then No. 4, a par 3, that requires a tee shot across the creek, both closed. Castlewood General Manager John Vest is working on the scope of the project and hopes to get it moving soon before the peak spring and summer seasons.
Further down Foothill, near the East Bay Regional Parks Pleasanton Ridge parking area, the northbound lane is closed entirely. Medlock reported that the creek had undercut the road and it was unstable and could collapse. The creek took a right turn after a big bend east and dug out the bank.
He said the county hoped to begin work to stabilize the area by driving sheet piles and then presumably backfilling so they can get the road re-opened.
As I drove the length of Foothill to Sunol I was struck by just how much wider the runoff from 400-square-miles deluged with 9 inches of rain had made it in places.
Medlock, who has been in the business for nearly 30 years, said he had never seen such bank damage as he had with the storms this season.
A tip of the hat to Alameda County Supervisor David Haubert, the Sunol Glen School staff and about 100 volunteers who came together to clean up the school grounds that were flooded New Year’s Eve when Sinbad Creek coming out of Kilkare Canyon topped its banks and sent more than a foot of water rushing over the grounds. The volunteers, fortified by breakfast and lunch provided by Haubert’s office, cleaned up mud, debris and other remnants to put the school back in reasonable shape.