The historical project of revitalizing Piedmont Avenue was a remarkable journey into the past. Piedmont Avenue’s original design was the work of the visionary Frederick Olmstead in 1864. This historic thoroughfare stretches through Piedmont, Oakland, Berkely, and beyond.
From the beginning, Bellecci made its mission clear in preserving the essence of Olmstead’s original design. However, navigating the intricate landscape of sloping surfaces, obstructing power poles, and dissipated curbs posed difficulties, especially as it pertained to ADA compliancy.
Collaborating closely with the city, we presented six different design options. Among them, one stood out—an innovative approach featuring amphitheater-style stairs that harmoniously integrated with the existing historic wall, which needed to remain. The wall’s height remained unchanged, allowing the sidewalk level to remain at its high level. Additionally, we incorporated dedicated bike lanes and scooter parking, catering to the ever-evolving landscape of transportation preferences.
To further expand on our mission of perseverance, Bellecci carefully recreated Olmstead’s original radius, adding multi-modal improvements and providing the space to accommodate the modernizations of their students. All while incorporating illuminating pedestrian pathway lights and beautifully crafted granite caps for functionality and allure.
Addressing the infrastructure needs, we embarked on the installation of a vital sanitary sewer line. The stadium’s basement, extending deep underground to its locker rooms, necessitated a carefully engineered connection. This new sewer line required specialized piping and meticulous backfilling, ultimately connecting to the Bancroft Way sewer line. Securing the permit for this connection was a momentous achievement, eliminating the need for an extensive pipeline reaching all the way to the campus—a solution that would have overwhelmed the existing infrastructure.
This project was a testament to the harmony between heritage preservation and modernization. Incorporating modern amenities into this historical roadway manifests both timeless design and accessibility for all.
The California Memorial Stadium is a renowned fixture on the UC Berkeley campus. The athletic stadium underwent a massive, multi-faceted $400 million renovation. This planning and design venture required years of joint effort from the designers and the university to meet the challenges presented by this major seismic design and historic upgrade as the Stadium is located directly on the Hayward Fault Line. The project also features the Student-Athlete High Performance Center (SAHPC), which is built three-stories below ground.
The iconic Memorial Stadium’s structural design features independent stadium segments which allow each part of the stadium to move independently during an earthquake. Despite replacing the majority of the stadium, the project preserved the original oval shape (reminiscent of a Roman Coliseum) and restored the historic exterior façade.
With 60,000 seats, the stadium houses extensive amenity spaces for athletes and fans, including a 350-foot long press box. The two-story press box and club levels offer splendid views of the San Francisco Bay and Golden Gate.
The innovative Simpson Center that houses thirteen university teams, blends seamlessly into the hillside with a public plaza atop, that frees up space within the stadium. The project prioritized sustainability, which speaks directly to the core values of Bellecci. Of the total construction debris, 99% was ultimately recycled and the project included the replanting of 134 trees. New bleachers were installed, made from recyclable aluminum.
Bellecci is proud to have been the project civil engineers for utilities, demolition, street improvements, site improvements, and hydrology/hydraulics for this amazing project to ensure a seismically safe, state-of-the-art experience for athletes, students, and fans alike. Bellecci served on the project team for four years and was instrumental member of the design team during both design and construction phase of the project.
This project was initiated in response to community concerns about the potential risks posed by overhead power lines, including the risk of wildfires and the potential for blocked evacuation routes during rescue operations. Working closely with the city, Bellecci conducted a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) exercise to identify which roads would be used during an evacuation, classifying them into residential, collector, arterial, or downtown commercial. We also took into consideration the cost of bringing the overhead wires down and identified which utilities could be undergrounded, including electrical, telecom, and all other overhead utilities.
As a company with extensive experience in joint trenches, duct banks, and other similar projects, we were well-equipped to take on this project. We understood the Rule 20 Process and worked on cost formulas, taking into consideration the cost sharing with the utility companies. We provided cost estimates and determined how much it would require to underground all overhead power lines, with unit prices varying depending on the road category.
To make the project cost-effective, we collaborated with a financial consultant to come up with an assessment method to measure predicted bond expenditures. This helped the city come up with funding sources and options for the project. To optimize cost savings for the city, we presented various models for implementing the public infrastructure project, which included options such as full-time crews, subcontractors, and public bidding. Through cost-saving studies, we presented our findings to the transportation committee, showcasing our experience on similar projects Bellecci has completed successfully.
Our tireless efforts on this project yielded significant benefits for the community, including a safer and more secure living environment. By undergrounding the overhead power lines, we have reduced the chances of power outages and reduced the risk of wildfires. On top of this, we ensured clear evacuation routes during rescue operations all while improving aesthetics to elevate the overall look and feel of the community.
The Security Self-Storage project in the vibrant City of El Cerrito, California, involved transforming a long-abandoned OSH building into a self-storage facility, while the previous parking lot is planned to create an affordable housing complex that will satisfy residents for years to come.
Our greatest challenge was removing the seventy-eight-foot-long retaining wall and substantial slope on the east side of the building, which crossed into a neighboring property, while minding the client’s strained budget.. To overcome this challenge, collaboration with property owners was necessary, resulting in an elevation differential to accommodate required Emergency Vehicle Access (EVA). This change ensured safe and convenient vehicle travel on the site.
Working within the constraints of the existing layout and driven by space limitations, we adopted a phased development approach. Bellecci proposed temporary asphalt patches with a 5 percent grade to permit fire truck access during the interim phasing of the storage facility being open to the public and residential projects beginning construction, all while factoring in permanent stormwater treatment costs.
To comply with stormwater treatment standards, we incorporated bioretention facilities and permeable pavers into the design. We also had to adjust existing site grades to meet higher elevations and drive-up accessibility for easy movement of heavy objects and to ensure compliancy with ADA requirements.
In close collaboration with the landscape architect, we aimed to strike a balance by fulfilling the requirements of C3, and the City, all while staying within the client’s budget. Determining the right landscape area for irrigation was crucial for both compliance and cost-effectiveness.
External storage units were also added around the perimeter of the OSH building. This innovative concept revitalized previously abandoned spaces, effectively converting them into functional self-storage units.
Bellecci is strongly committed to overcoming challenges through creative solutions. This commitment combined with our expertise and willingness to collaborate allowed us to transform this space into a gateway into the City.
Nested between Willow Avenue and the adjacent railway, the Bellecci team embarked on an
outstanding project for a self-storage facility in Hercules, California. The project involved
creating both a storage facility for a community that was in need, and a comprehensive
stormwater management plan that adhered to city and county regulations. The projects
unfolded in several distinct phases, each presenting unique challenges and opportunities.
Phase One focused on the installation of the self-storage facility, comprising four storage
buildings, including a two-story structure, the driveway, temporary drive aisle, and parking for
U-Haul trucks. It also required design input from the fire chief to accommodate the office
building and the manager's apartment on the top floor.
The build site posed major challenges regarding the extreme slopes, resulting in a need for
balancing and regrading. Since the grades of the original sanitary sewer lift station were
inadequate for maintaining the flow of gravity and transporting water to the treatment plant,
the creation of a lift station was necessary. A J-Ditch was also installed to capture and divert
any runoff from reaching the nearby Caltrans right of way and creek.A unique component of
the project involved the creation of a sanitary sewer lift station, located about a block away.
This involved tapping into an existing sewer line originating from a local church, running
through an outdated existing pump station. The existing setup proved insufficient to handle
the demands of neighboring developments, ultimately executing the comprehensive design
of a new station, ensuring optimal functionality and improved flows.
Overall, our endeavor helped ensure the surrounding wildlife and nature will remain
protected and safe from discharge and that the community was provided a safe space for
their possessions. This project was a success and pinpointed a need for the residences, so
much in fact that the initial plans for Phase II being a commercial effort were scratched to
make room for more storage space.