Down at the mouth of Lion Creek, at what most of us still think of as Coliseum Gardens, the authorities have undone a bit of historic damage to the habitat. A rehabilitation project dug a new channel next to the existing culvert and installed water gates at both ends to manage the flow—brackish tidal water at the Bay end and floodwater at the hill end. After four years, it’s looking the way it was intended. Here’s the view downstream from the Lion Way overcrossing, with the Coliseum in back and the Lion Creek Crossings community all around.
Here’s the map view. The airphoto is kinda old, but it shows you the plan.
The ground where I was standing is mapped at about 8 feet elevation. The other end of the park is approximately where the historic coastal marsh started, so they’re doing the right thing for this location. The culvert is still there to handle floods, but a real creek bed evolves to coexist with floods. So what we have now is sort of a zoo creek. I’ll take it over what was there before.
Cost estimates vary from $4 to $5 million to create this acre and a half of habitat. Looked at another way, that’s what it costs to lose a plain old natural creek bed, doing what it does best.
Alameda County calls it a “natural channel”
Alameda County Flood Control district calls it “a natural bypass creek”